Man charged with Boehner death threat pleads not guilty

Lisa Cornwell
Associated Press

Cincinnati — A former Cincinnati-area bartender charged with threatening to kill House Speaker John Boehner has pleaded not guilty after being found competent to stand trial.

A U.S. District Court judge in Cincinnati found Michael Hoyt competent Wednesday based on a report from a federal medical center in Massachusetts where Hoyt had been sent for mental evaluation and treatment.

Court documents indicate he has a history of mental illness. A defense attorney said he plans to argue Hoyt is not guilty by reason of insanity, though that’s not allowed as a plea.

A separate criminal complaint says Hoyt was fired last fall from a suburban Cincinnati country club where Boehner is a member. Authorities say Hoyt said he began hearing the devil’s voice after his firing, telling him Boehner was “evil.”