death threats

Maine Woman Charged With Threatening to Kill Sen. Collins

The Bangor woman, who is due in court Wednesday, said she would "kill" or even "decapitate" the newly re-elected senator, according to court documents

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A Maine woman has been charged with making interstate threats against newly re-elected Sen. Susan Collins, after leaving voicemails saying she would kill or even decapitate her.

Paperwork filed by a special agent with the FBI in federal court says the Bangor and Washington, D.C., offices for the Republican senator received the graphic voice messages beginning on Nov. 6.

According to the documents, Katrina Preble, 56, of Bangor, explicitly says she would "kill" the senator and "shoot" Collins in the head in the first set of messages.

After the messages were reported to authorities, a Bangor police officer and an FBI agent visited the home of Preble, who allegedly made the call. She was arrested Monday on two counts of making interstate threats, authorities said.

In the paperwork, the FBI agent says Preble was "uncooperative" but "not a threat" to Collins. She allegedly said she had the "right" to tell the senator she would defend herself with "deadly force."

The documents say that the calls did not stop. Six more voicemails were allegedly left on Veterans Day, one of them mentioning decapitation and one containing a line saying, "We the People are going to put you in front of firing squads."

Sen. Susan Collins successfully fended off a challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon and will return to the Senate for a fifth term.

The filing of the federal charges followed the second set of messages, according to the court documents.

While the exact circumstances behind the latest threats remain under investigation, they are the latest in a string of disturbing incidents in which Collins has been threatened, escalating around the time the senator voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Collins spoke about those earlier threats in an interview over the summer, saying she "went through all sorts of death threats" and even had a case worker quit after someone called Collins' office in Biddeford and threatened the staffer with rape.

"My car mysteriously burst into flames and was totaled and my husband, dog and home had to be quarantined because of a ricin threat," Collins said. "This has not been a pleasant two years."

Despite all that, the senator is undeterred.

"I'm going to do what I think is right regardless," she said.

Democrats are looking to take back control of the Senate from Republicans, with the race between Sen. Susan Collins and Sara Gideon drawing a lot of attention.

The senator's office issued a statement on the voicemails saying, "Senator Collins and her husband, Tom Daffron, are grateful for the professionalism and quick response of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers."

Bangor Police Sgt. Wade Betters told NECN and NBC10 Boston in an e-mail that the department is going to continue working with the FBI on the investigation into the messages.

Prosecutors asked for Preble to be detained pending a detention hearing, and it was unclear if she had an attorney. She's due in court Wednesday.

Officers have also increased patrols near Preble's home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC10 Boston and Associated Press
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