Florida man sentenced to 14 months in prison for voicemail threatening to kill a U.S. Supreme Court justice

 April 3, 2024

Neal Brij Sidhwaney was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison for threatening to kill a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, CBS News reported. The 43-year-old Flordia man later identified Chief Justice John Roberts as his intended victim.

In December, Sidhwaney pleaded guilty to transmitting an interstate threat. He called from his home state to the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in July and left a voicemail saying he was going to kill a justice.

The rambling message included obscenities and even his real name, according to the New York Post. Sidhwaney was reportedly suffering from delusions and paranoia when he made the call.

"Yeah hi, my name is Neal Sidhwaney, uh, this message is for [Roberts]…. I will f—king kill you … Go f—king tell the Deputy US Marshals you f—ing p—y," Sidhwaney said in his message.

A History of Mental Illness

The accused was taking medication for "delusional disorder with psychosis" at the time of the incident. Dr. Alan J. Harris, who evaluated Sidhwaney in September last year, found that he had a history of mental illness.

"According to his parents, he believes a private agency has been following him. However, his paranoia began in 2017 when he left Google," Harris said in his report.

Sidhwaney worked for the tech company for eight years as a programmer.  "According to his mother, he becomes enraged watching the news, which triggers him to write letters and emails or to make phone calls," the report noted.

In the past, Sidhwaney "has expressed the belief that Google planted a chip in his head and foot" and wouldn't leave his parents' house except to buy coffee. "Sleep is disturbed as he will stay up to [3] a.m. and then sleep late," Harris said.

Despite these challenges, Sidhwaney was deemed competent to stand trial. He was facing up to five years in prison for the threatening voicemails but was sentenced to just over a year.

A Growing Problem

Other Supreme Court justices have also been threatened in recent years. They seem more motivated by politics than solely mental illness.

After the draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked, 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske turned up at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house, Fox News reported. He was carrying weapons, including a gun with ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, and other tactical gear.

He posted online as a transgender woman and spoke in favor of abortion as a way to wipe out the population. "If abortion were mandatory for pregnant women, no new people would be born, and thus no new people would experience suffering," Roske posted to Reddit.

"If no new people are born, humanity will end and thus human suffering will end. I am aware how radical this view is, but I do hold it sincerely," Roske wrote.

The contentious political climate is not necessarily to blame for the problem that seems to coincide with mental illness. However, it seems to be an avenue for people suffering from mental illness, and it's a dangerous combination.

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