McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 16, 2013

Oklahoma man pleads guilty to Obama threats


Associated Press

TULSA — An Oklahoma man has pleaded guilty to charges that he threatened the president and first lady in telephone calls made to the Secret Service in 2011.

In federal court Tuesday, 50-year-old Mark Dee Gragg admitted making the calls but said he engaged only in “careless talk.” However, Gragg acknowledged that he never told agents that he was joking or that he intended no harm to President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

The Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/19PIDHj ) reported that Gragg was indicted early in 2012 but hearings were delayed amid questions about Gragg’s competence. A magistrate found Gragg competent and set sentencing for Jan. 27.

By the time the sentencing date arrives, Gragg will have spent more time in custody than what sentencing guidelines suggest as a prison term.