FAIRMONT — A man accused of making threatening phone calls to U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin was found competent and will stand trial on Feb. 24.
Steven Anthony Major appeared before U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston for a competency hearing Monday, after which Major was deemed competent. Major was charged with influencing, impeting or retaliating against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member.
According to court documents, a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent investigated several calls made to offices in Kanawha County and to the Washington, D.C., offices of Manchin between March 17 and March 20. Major identified himself during the phone calls before making threats to Manchin and his family, officials say.
Major told Manchin to stay out of West Virginia, the court documents state. Threats made to Manchin by Major include “You a dead man, you don’t (expletive) with me,” “Your kids and your wife are done,” and “(Senator Manchin) and his family going to have bullets in their brain (sic).”
According to court documents, many of the calls were made from blocked numbers, though law enforcement officers were able to determine that at least one of the calls was made from a cellular phone belonging to Major. Manchin’s staff said they were able to recognize the voice of the caller from the blocked numbers as being the same person.
Email Richard Babich at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.