FRANKFORT, Ky. – Wesley Forrest Clay, 29, of Olathe, Kan., was indicted on Thursday in the Eastern District of Kentucky, for federal charges of sending threatening communications in interstate commerce.
The indictment follows a criminal complaint which was filed last week in the Eastern District of Kentucky. The criminal complaint alleged that, on September 23, 2020, Clay called the Kentucky Attorney General’s telephone line in Frankfort that was dedicated to the Breonna Taylor investigation. On the call he stated his name, telephone number, and then said among other things, “You will die if you do not give Breonna Taylor justice. That is a threat. Try me.”
“Sending threatening communications in interstate commerce, over the telephone or via the internet, is grave conduct and can lead to potential federal prosecution,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Law enforcement simply must treat these matters very seriously.”
“Threatening harm to our elected officials is a far cry from protected-speech and subjects people to vigorous investigation and potential federal prosecution,” said Russell Coleman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “As we are constantly reminded there are no longer geographic lines between law enforcement agencies and districts as we work collaborate to mitigate the threat to Kentuckians.”
“Sending threatening communications not only takes an emotional toll on the victim, but it also unnecessarily drains law enforcement resources. Threats are not jokes. You will be charged and arrested with a federal crime,” said James Robert Brown, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office.” FBI Louisville will continue to work closely with our partners across the country to ensure elected officials can perform the duties of their office safely.”
The investigation preceding the charge was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisville Field Office, with assistance from the Kansas City Field Office.
Clay’s next scheduled appearance is on October 8, 2020 at 11 a.m. in Lexington, Ky.. If convicted, Clay faces up to 5 years in prison. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.
Any charge is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.