Tennessee man charged in assassination plot

NASHVILLE — A Tennessee man appeared in federal court Friday on charges that he threatened to shoot up a courthouse and kill people, actions that targeted a U.S. congresswoman and senator from Hawaii.

Kaehiokahouna Stewart, 36, of Murfreesboro was arrested Friday morning at his home, officials said. Court documents and officials say Stewart went so far as to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii to carry out his murder plot.

A complaint filed by the government says Stewart sent threatening emails and posted threatening videos on social media, specifically targeting Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, both Democrats from Hawaii.

On Aug. 19, Stewart sent an email saying he would fly from Nashville to Honolulu on Nov. 1 “with the intent to shoot people at the Princess Jonah Federal Building,” a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee David Rivera’s office says.

The complaint says Stewart has sent grievances to various government officials, including Hirono, Gabbard and President Obama, since November 2013.

“Stewart falsely believed that his (Social Security number) had been duplicated and issued to a fellow soldier he met while stationed at Camp Stanley in Korea in 2002,” the news release says.

He wrote to the Social Security Administration and Department of Defense saying they ruined his life.

"Stewart demanded he receive 100% Veterans Administration disability and $50 billion or he would purchase a gun and a silencer and would not be responsible for any crimes he committed," the complaint says. It also says Stewart's Social Security number was determined to be one digit different from the other Army soldier.

Stewart went to visit Hirono’s office in Washington, D.C., in May 2015, the complaint says. After an office staffer would not help him, saying his issue was handled in the senator's Hawaii office, he said he was leaving and if he had to come back "there would be a problem," the document reads. Capitol Police were called because of the incident.

A spokesman for Hirono's office declined to comment on the case Friday. Gabbard's staff could not be reached after hours.

As recently as Sept. 8 Stewart posted an Instagram video saying he would fly to Honolulu on Nov. 1, traveling with an AR-15 rifle and two handguns, according to the complaint. In videos posted on YouTube that are identified in the complaint, Stewart is seen holding handguns and documents and saying "(expletive) the United States ... they owe me money." He also talks about burning an American flag.

Investigators said Stewart bought a ticket to go to Hawaii on Nov. 1, but it was exchanged, which means it could be used on another date, Rivera’s office said. The complaint says Stewart circled Nov. 5 on a calendar where he wrote "FEED DA FISHES," a reference to disposing of a body.

Stewart will remain in custody until his next court date, which is scheduled for Sept. 30.

The charges against Stewart, threatening to murder a U.S. official and communicating threats through interstate commerce, carry possible prison sentences of 10 years and five years, respectively. Fines are up to $250,000 on each charge.

Follow Stacey Barchenger on Twitter: @sbarchenger


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