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Detroit man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Whitmer, Nessel

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — A 32-year-old Detroit man is facing a felony charge after allegedly making "credible threats to kill" Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Robert Sinclair Tesh with false report of a threat of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a press release. He was arraigned on April 22.

Robert Sinclair Tesh

Tesh allegedly communicated through a social media messenger with an acquaintance, making threats to kill Whitmer and Nessel on April 14. Later that day, the Detroit Police Department arrested Tesh at his home in Detroit, the release said.

"The alleged facts in this case lay out a very disturbing scenario," Worthy said. "We understand that these times can be stressful and upsetting for many people. But we will not and cannot tolerate threats like these against any public official who are carrying out their duties as efficiently as they can."

Whitmer called on Republican lawmakers Monday to denounce death threats levied against her on social media. Recent protests against Whitmer's stay-at-home order to combat COVID-19 have also seen signs with violent themes, like one on April 30 that said, "Tyrants get the rope."

On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, condemned those "who have populated a number of social media posts with crude, violent and threatening messages about our governor.”

"These folks are thugs and their tactics are despicable," Shirkey said. "It is never OK to threaten the safety or life of another person, elected or otherwise, period."

Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for Nessel, said earlier this week that the Attorney General's Office takes "every threat seriously and will continue to monitor the situation with our partners in law enforcement."

cmauger@detroitnews.com