The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

June 4, 2013

McMechen man charged with threatening Obama

MOUNDSVILLE — A Marshall County man was behind bars Monday on federal charges of threatening to kill President Barack Obama and the president’s family in a letter filled with profanity and racial slurs.

Federal court records say 20-year-old Ryan Kirker of McMechen is believed to have written the April letter to the White House that closed with the phrase, “KKK forever.”

An affidavit from a U.S. Secret Service agent says forensic experts also determined that Kirker had written about plans to kill Obama in a March 28 letter to someone named John. Special Agent Ken Skaggs said indentations in the paper linked the two letters.

In the March letter, the affidavit says, Kirker tells John to meet him so the two can travel to Washington, D.C.

That letter mentioned a specific weapon and Kirker’s ability to obtain armor-piercing ammunition, as well as the fact that “the feds” had previously visited Kirker’s home to investigate a third letter.

Skaggs confirmed that he and other Secret Service agents visited the family’s home in June 2012 to investigate an anonymous threat sent to the White House in April 2012.

That letter, which also contained racial slurs, implored the president to visit McMechen “so that the author can have ‘a shot’ at him,” Skaggs wrote. “The author goes on to say that if the first lady comes along, she will be killed also.”

Skaggs said formal handwriting analysis is pending, but he believes Ryan Kirker penned all three letters.

Kirker is being held at the Northern Regional Jail and is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate today.

Two defense attorneys have been retained, but neither immediately commented on the charges.

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