Charges dropped against man accused of threatening Colo. representative
DENVER — Charges were dropped Friday morning against a man accused of making threats to Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields.
Franklin Sain faced one charge of harassment and one charge of attempting to influence a public official, which is a felony.
Those charges were filed by District Attorney Mitch Morrisey after Sain sent threatening messages to Fields that repeatedly used the N-word and the C-word. Fields was the sponsor of a bill to require universal background checks on all gun sales and transfers and another that would ban high-capacity magazines of 15 rounds or more.
Both bills were signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March.
Friday morning, the district attorney in the case said the chargers were dropped because Fields did not want to proceed with a criminal trial.
“As someone who has sat through criminal trials, she just doesn’t want to do it again,” said prosecutor Courtney Johnson.
Fields saw her son gunned down by gang members in 2005.
A protection order against Sain includes a clause that he seek out mental health treatment.
“Her safety has now been addressed with a civil protection order,” Johnson said.
In addition to the charges filed against Sain, the 42-year-old chief financial officer at SofTec Solutions was fired by the Englewood-based company, when the emails became public.
Following A court appearance in May, Sain’s attorney Siddartha Rathod, said Sain reached out to apologize to Fields via email. He did not say whether Fields has responded.
In some of those emails and voicemails that were first reported by FOX31 Denver, Sain threatened to harm Fields, expressing his hope that someone “Giffords” her and co-sponsor Rep. Beth McCann. Sain also threatened violence that “will make World War 1 and World War 2 look like child’s play” was in store for the two lawmakers.
“Many will be killed,” Sain continued.
While he admitted that the messages Sain sent Fields were “despicable and disgusting,” Rathod said what his client did was not illegal.
“The First Amendment permits horribly offensive communications, especially to politicians, as long as they contain no threats,” defense attorney Siddartha Rathod said. “Mr. Sain’s emails and voicemail to Representative Fields, while deplorable, were not threats.