Alabama man charged with threatening Trump, Putin and killing children

Published 2:17 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2019

An Alabama man with a history of mental illness is accused of threatening to “destroy” President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and kill the children of U.S. officials.

Deryke Matthew Pfeifer also used Facebook to video himself in a hotel room with two handguns as he berated a federal judge and threatened to kill anyone who tried to arrest him, prosecutors said.

Pfeifer was indicted this month on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of ammunition and ordered to undergo a mental health exam.

In a Facebook video recorded in a south Alabama hotel room, Pfeifer names employees of the Secret Service and U.S. Attorney’s office and vows to slay their children, authorities said.

He said, “I promise you I will kill your children and put a bounty on your children,” a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in a criminal complaint.

A loaded Ruger LCP .380 handgun was found in his vehicle, and three types of ammunition were found in the hotel room, a federal agent wrote in court documents.

Pfeifer underwent an earlier mental health exam in 2014, after the U.S. Secret Service accused him of threatening to kill then-President Barack Obama and blow up a federal building in Jackson, Michigan, court records state.

Pfeifer told a Secret Service special agent in 2014 that “he often channels God’s words in his videos on Facebook,” the agent wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Pfeifer was diagnosed with delusional disorder. He has also been diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder, which involves pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, court records state.

After lengthy mental health evaluations, Pfeifer appeared to be much better, his lawyer in the 2014 case told court officials.

In a telephone call, “he presented himself in a very calm manner, appeared to be doing quite well, was not delusional during our conversation (as he has been in the past), had normal speech and presented that he was doing well with no problems to report,” Montgomery lawyer Richard Keith wrote to court officials in late January.

“While he has not been compliant with mental health treatment, there does not appear to be any adverse problems without it,” Keith stated.

The probation department and prosecutors then agreed to release Pfeifer and the case was closed, according to a Feb. 1 order from U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson.

Pfeifer is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition since he was convicted of robbery and drug dealing in McLean County, Illinois, in the mid-1990s, authorities said.

Pfeifer has been ordered to undergo another mental health exam following his recent indictment on the ammunition charge and the complaint accusing him of threatening Trump and Putin.

His attorney in the current case did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages from The Associated Press on Tuesday.