Phoenix man gets probation after sending email threat to Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates
Jan 29, 2024, 1:59 PM
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — A Phoenix man was sentenced to three years of probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for sending an email threat to Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, authorities announced Monday.
Ryan Stuart Hadland, 45, sent an email to Gates on Nov. 12, 2022, four days after the midterm election, threatening the Republican with death.
Hadland outlined specifics in the threat, including how he would ensure of Gates’ death:
I’ve always thought food poisoning to be the easiest means to have slipped in the unassuming person’s meals. I will follow the example you’ve lived by, of paying off the necessary people to make sure the repetitive food poisoning you ingest will lead to certain death. There are many poisons that aren’t detectable when they are naturally present in the human body. The poisons which enter the body with most ease will be strategically placed in every aspect of your routine life. I promise you, you are about to be poisoned multiple times over again to make sure your death, or corpse, is carried out.
Hadland was also ordered to receive mental health services during the entirety of the probation.
Gates, who announced in June 2023 he would not seek reelection this year, told The Washington Post he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after being subjected to harassment and threats over the county’s elections.
At the advice of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the District 3 Republican moved from his home to an undisclosed location because of safety concerns in the days around the 2022 election.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors oversees voting in the state’s largest county, and Gates was the board’s chair during the 2022 elections.
“Threats of violence against public servants are not only criminal acts, they are direct attacks on the principles of our democracy,” Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a press release.
“My office is committed to protecting our election officials and I will continue to prosecute those who seek to undermine our democracy through intimidation and violence.”
Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott McDonald handled Hadland’s case.