Billings, Montana – A Montana man most probably regrets his actions from last year when he openly threatened to kill Montana Sen. Jon Tester. Months before the sentence hearing, the 30-year-old Anthony James Cross from Billings now pleaded guilty following an agreement with federal prosecutors. This took place on Friday last week, and as a result, the Billings man will have one count dropped.
Who is Anthony James Cross and when he threatened Montana Sen. Jon Tester
Anthony James Cross, aged 30, admitted his guilt in a federal court last Friday for making threats to harm and end the life of Senator Tester. In a deal with the authorities, the prosecutors decided to not pursue another charge against Cross, which was about threatening to kill President Joe Biden, ahead of his sentencing in May. According to AP, Cross planned to plead guilty since late November.
Initially charged by a federal grand jury in September, Cross was accused of leaving menacing messages for Tester in April, and also expressing a desire to kill Biden.
Recent weeks have brought more information to light about these threats. Court papers reveal that on the morning of April 17, Cross left alarming voicemails at Tester’s offices in both Billings and Washington, D.C. He warned of a terrible death for Tester and his family in one message, and in another, he threatened to eliminate every member of Tester’s family, as stated by the prosecutors.
On April 25, Google alerted the FBI about comments Cross made on his YouTube account, threatening to pursue and kill transgender individuals and Biden. When questioned by the prosecutors, Cross confessed to making both the voicemails and the YouTube comments, as per the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Court documents indicate that Cross and the prosecutors reached this plea agreement at the end of November. Cross changed his plea to guilty at a hearing on Friday, after initially pleading not guilty.
Anthony James Cross faces up to a decade in federal prison
Following the court’s acceptance of this agreement, Cross now faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine that could be as high as $250,000, and a three-year period of supervised release, for the charge of threatening to harm or kill a U.S. senator.
Cross’s sentencing is scheduled for May 1. He will be held by the U.S. Marshals Service until that date.
In a related case, a man from Kalispell was given a prison sentence of almost three years last August for threatening to kill Tester in a phone call made in January.