Man Jailed in Alleged Plot to Kill Jewish Officials in Michigan

In this June 4, 2019, file photo, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel listens to a question from reporters in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

By Associated Press

March 8, 2023

DETROIT—A man charged with threatening the lives of Jewish public officials in Michigan—including Attorney General Dana Nessel—was returned to jail Friday after declining to oppose the government’s request that he remain in custody while his case winds through court.

The hearing for Jack Carpenter III lasted just minutes in federal court in Detroit. He agreed to detention but, through his attorney, also submitted a document challenging jurisdiction over him.

Defense lawyer Jean Pierre Nogues declined to comment outside court.

The next hearing was set for March 15.

The FBI said Carpenter of Tipton, Michigan, was in Texas when he tweeted on Feb. 17 that he was returning “to carry out the punishment of death to anyone” who is Jewish in Michigan government “if they don’t leave, or confess, and now that kind of problem.”

Carpenter, 41, also declared a new country—”New Israel”—around his home, according to the criminal complaint. Investigators said he had firearms and ammunition in his vehicle.

The FBI hasn’t publicly identified the state officials, but Nessel said Carpenter wanted to kill her. She described him as a “mentally disturbed man.”

“It is my sincere hope that the federal authorities take this offense just as seriously as my Hate Crimes & Domestic Terorism Unit takes plots to murder elected officials,” Nessel posted to Twitter last week.

A Michigan lawmaker who is Jewish said she and two others who are Jewish were informed by the FBI about Carpenter’s arrest.

“You’re getting threats constantly. … It didn’t really affect me probably like it should because I’ve been dealing with extremism and antisemitism since October, November,” said Rep. Samantha Steckloff, a Democrat from suburban Detroit.

She said threats took off last year when Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, made antisemitic comments in interviews and on social media. Ye has expressed some regret.

Democratic Rep. Noah Arbit said he won’t be bullied from serving his district. Democratic Sen. Jeremy Moss was also contacted by the FBI.

“The Jews in the House will never back down,” Arbit said on Twitter.

On Monday, the Michigan Democratic Party and the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus joined together to condemn the rise of antisemitic threats in Michigan—including the one against Nessel.

Interim Chair of the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus, Marla Linderman Richelew, said in a statement that she received notice that a far-right, neo-Nazi group had called for last Saturday to be a “Day of Hate” toward Jewish people and that preschoolers were recently subjected to threats at a synagogue.

“There are places in Michigan where every week, people scream antisemitic hatred at us as we take our children to worship,” she said. “And yet, in a time where there is an increased dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion, Jews are being excluded from DEI conversations and efforts.”

Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes also condemned antisemitism in a statement.

“We stand together in condemning antisemitism, just as we condemn other types of racism, homophobia and bigotry of any kind,” she said. “The MDP is committed to ensuring that Jews are included in all of our efforts to foster diversity and inclusivity in our organization and Michigan.”

‘Gander Political Correspondent Kyle Kaminski contributed to this report.


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