CONCORD — The man arrested Tuesday for allegedly threatening to kill Gov. Chris Sununu and members of the Jewish community told police that he has schizophrenia and never intended to hurt anyone, according to court records.
State police arrested Brian Roberts, 38, of Concord, after they traced emailed threats sent to the Central Intelligence Agency back to an email address that belonged to Roberts.
On Nov. 30, Roberts allegedly sent several emails to the CIA through its website. In one, he allegedly wrote, “Going to shoot Gov state of NH no matter what. I’d kill every (expletive) jew I ever (expletive) look at.”
His messages, excerpts of which were included in a police affidavit, include rambling statements about government surveillance, Jews, and Muslims, law enforcement officials said.
The FBI had previously questioned Roberts in Seattle in connection to similar messages sent to government agencies.
After determining that he was behind the threatening emails sent Nov. 30, state troopers assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force tracked Roberts to Concord, where staff at the Homeless Resource Center said they knew him and had previously seen him accessing government websites on center computers, according to the affidavit.
Troopers eventually met and interviewed Roberts at Friendly Kitchen in Concord. He was cooperative, according to the affidavit, and told them that he is schizophrenic, hears voices, believes the government has a GPS tracker on him, and was not on any medication.
He allegedly admitted to sending messages to government agencies — he goes to the website because he believes nobody else will help him, he told the troopers — and using the email address from which the Nov. 30 threats originated.
When showed the specific messages that prompted the investigation, Roberts “stated that this email sounded like his words, and the content was how he would usually speak or write, but he stated that he had no specific memory of this particular message,” according to the affidavit.
Roberts also told the troopers that he had no access to guns and that he had no plan to hurt anyone.
The troopers arrested him on a misdemeanor criminal threatening charge.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward would not comment on the possibility that more charges will be filed against Roberts. But under the criminal threatening statute, he said, a person cannot be charged with a felony unless they mention using biological or chemical substances.
“For threats against government officials, it has to be to influence official actions or in retaliation for official actions taken (in order to rise to the level of a felony),” Ward said.
By contrast, Jamal Gray, 19, of Manchester, was charged with two felony and one misdemeanor criminal mischief charges last month after he turned himself in for spray painting swastikas.
The more serious charges were a result of the property damage, not the intention behind the crime, Assistant County Attorney Nicole Schultz-Price said.
“The felony had nothing to do with what was painted, but the damage done to the property,” she said. “It was not determined to be a hate crime.”