‘I’m gonna carve your (expletive) heart out’ — Navy vet sentenced for racist threats to VA centers days after veterans home mass shooting
SAN FRANCISCO — Just days after a veteran receiving PTSD treatment walked into the Yountville Veterans Home with a rifle and opened fire, killing three women and taking his own life, threats started pouring in to other Veterans Assistance centers around the Bay Area.
In addition to threatening shootings, the calls and voice mails contained hundreds of racial, anti-semitic, and homophobic slurs. In recorded messages, the man told staffers he would “carve your (expletive) heart out,” using slurs against African-Americans, Jewish people and others.
The caller threatened to show up at a VA center in the Bay Area armed with an assault rifle and randomly shoot people. For a while, workers at VA centers across the region were concerned that a Yountville copycat shooting could be around the corner, according to court records.
Eventually, the threats were traced back to a man named Ronald Joseph Lafaye, a U.S. Navy veteran who prosecutors say has a 20-year history — including multiple convictions — of threatening people. As prosecutors were bringing a federal case against Lafaye for the VA threats, there was a simultaneous state case against him for making threats to kill staffers at U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier’s office, authorities say.
Last week, Lafaye was sentenced to two years and four months in prison for the VA threats. Combined with his state prison sentence, he will serve a total of 10 years. Last year, he was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison for the threats on Speier’s staffers, court records show.
In a sentencing memo asking for 41 months, assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Shepard wrote that Lafaye had, “threatened a mass shooting, at a time when society can longer safely assume that these are idle threats.” The threats were made in person and on the phone, …read more
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