Suspended COO Franklin Sain formally charged for alleged threats against Rep. Rhonda Fields
Last Updated: 107 days ago
DENVER - The suspended executive accused of harassing a Colorado lawmaker has been formally charged.
Franklin Sain, 42, was charged Monday with a felony charge of attempt to influence a public servant and a misdemeanor charge of harassment-ethnic intimidation.
Police said they found Sain after reviewing threatening emails and voice mails to Rep. Rhonda Fields, a Democrat from Aurora who is behind some of the gun control legislation being reviewed by the legislature.
Prosecutors said the charges allege that between February 13, 2013 and February 21, 2013, Sain sent numerous threatening emails and a voice mail message with the intent to alter or affect the Representative’s opinion or action.
"The charges further allege that the communication was intended to intimidate or harass the victim because of her race," the Denver District Attorney's office said in a news release.
When two Denver police detectives interviewed Sain on Feb. 19 in his office, he admitted he had sent phone messages and emails to Fields, but added: "I didn't threaten her," the affidavit said.
Sain also admitted to using profanity and "racist names" in the calls and emails, the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, police suspect Sain also sent Fields an anonymous letter that refers to the lawmaker with the same obscene, racist phrase repeatedly used in emails and phone messages that Sain admitted sending to the lawmaker. The letter also contains a reference to "30 round magazines" used in Sain's emails.
"I will keep my 30 round magazines. There will be blood! I'm coming for you (expletive)," states the letter, received at Fields' Capitol office on Feb. 21.
The letter names Fields and her daughter and states, "Death to Both."
Sain grew increasingly apologetic during follow up phone calls with a detective, police said.
"I don't use that word when I talk. I'm not a racist. Those emails are not who I am," Sain told the detective during a phone conversation."
Talking about what motivated his phone calls and emails to Fields, Sain told police, "I'm just voicing some frustrations about a topic I consider sacred, especially after wearing a uniform and fighting for this country. When you have media pushing blame on gun owners, that just gets me emotional."
Sain's attorneys, Siddhartha H. Rathod and Qusair Mohamedbhai, issued this statement last week that said:
"We are deeply concerned about the government's retaliation against Mr. Sain for his protected First Amendment political speech. We appreciate Representative Rhonda Fields’s service to our community; however, we remind you that Mr. Sain valiantly served his country as a decorated Iraqi war veteran. Representative Fields appears to be furthering her political agenda by trampling on Mr. Sain’s constitutionally protected free speech in order to infringe on all Coloradans’ Second Amendment rights."
Sain is the chief operating officer at SofTec Solutions Inc., an Englewood information technology company that does work for the government and health care companies. The company said on its Facebook page that after his arrest, Sain was suspended.
Fields told 7NEWS that she was granted a restraining order against Sain. She added that Sain's weapons permit was revoked because of that order.
Sain was released on $30,000 bond. He is expected in court Friday.
Fields has sponsored two gun bills this year. One bill requires background checks for all private gun sales. The other measure bans high-capacity bullet clips. Both bills are working their way through the legislative process.
Fields son, Javad Marshall-Fields, and his fiance, Vivian Wolfe, both 22, died in a hail of gunfire as they drove through an Aurora intersection on June 20, 2005.
The couple was targeted a week before Marshall-Fields was scheduled to testify about a killing he'd witnessed in Aurora. Three men were convicted in the murder of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe.
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