Skip to main content

North Carolina man accused of Twitter threats to kill Obama

By Carol Cratty, CNN Senior Producer
September 7, 2012 -- Updated 0159 GMT (0959 HKT)
 Donte Jamar Sims, 21, was arrested for making threats against President Barack Obama on Twitter.
Donte Jamar Sims, 21, was arrested for making threats against President Barack Obama on Twitter.
  • Donte Jamar Sims lives in Charlotte, site of Democratic convention
  • Officials say Sims sent five tweets threatening to kill the president
  • "Sims asserted that he was high on marijuana when he made the threats," affidavit says

Washington (CNN) -- A North Carolina man was arrested Wednesday and accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama in a series of Twitter messages, including one saying, "The Secret Service is gonna be defenseless once I aim the Assault Rifle at Barack's Forehead."

Donte Jamar Sims, 21, had an initial court appearance in Charlotte on Thursday and remains in custody.

According to a criminal complaint, Sims sent five Twitter messages Monday morning threatening the president. "Ima hit president Obama with that Lee Harvey Oswald swag," said one tweet. "Well IMA Assassinate president Obama this evening, " said another message. President Obama did not arrive in town until two days later.

Protester jailed, denies he's a terrorist

Charlotte is the city hosting the Democratic National Convention. President Obama arrived there Wednesday afternoon in advance of his Thursday night acceptance speech.

The court document states a Secret Service intelligence research specialist saw the messages on Twitter, which led to an agent going to Sims' home to interview him on Wednesday.

In the affidavit, the Secret Service agent who interviewed Sims said the suspect admitted to having the Twitter account associated with the messages and wrote that Sims smiled when the threatening statements were read aloud to him.

"Sims stated that he published the statements because he hated President Obama," the agent wrote in the affidavit. "Sims asserted that he was high on marijuana when he made the threats but that he understood what he was doing and that it was wrong."

According to the court document, the agent then arrested Sims on several outstanding warrants. The officer said Sims later waived his Miranda rights and said his demeanor changed. "He asserted that he was sorry he sent the messages threatening to kill the president of the United States and provided me with a written apology," wrote the agent.

The court document makes no mention of Sims having any weapons in his possession. It also does not provide details on the previous arrest warrants for Sims.

Kevin Tate, a federal public defender representing Sims, would not comment on the case in advance of a detention hearing scheduled for September 11.

If convicted of threatening the president, Sims faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Anarchists Target Political Conventions

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.