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Judge gives deadline to man accused of threats

Staff Writer
LA Junta Tribune

Pueblo man arrested 3 months ago

By Robert Boczkiewicz

DENVER -- A judge has given a Pueblo man accused of threatening to kill U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Pueblo County sheriff's deputies 30 days to decide if he will accept a plea deal that a prosecutor has offered.

Judge Raymond Moore set that timetable last week for Thomas Arthur Wornick who is charged with making threatening communications.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported in March that the charge was filed in Denver at the U.S. District Court for Colorado.

The case has been on hold since last month when Wornick, 37, changed attorneys. If he does not accept a plea deal, the judge likely will set a date for a trial.

Terms of the proposed deal have not been disclosed publicly.

Wornick said he is an Iraqi war veteran. Friends had said he has post traumatic stress disorder, according to a law enforcement affidavit. It stated that they told investigators he probably would shoot law enforcement officers if they came to his home.

"In 2003 I deployed to Iraq, I was blown up by an ied in my hmmwv and blown up again by a rocket weeks later. I suffer everyday of my life.

"I sarficied (CQ) my whole (expletive) life for this nation, and this nation refuses to give medical care for my combat injuries," Wornick allegedly wrote in an email on March 9 to Gardner's office. The email is quoted in the affidavit that was the basis for arresting him.

"I am going to kill senator cory gardner for refusing to help me get medical care."

The FBI arrested Wornick that day.

The threats against sheriff's deputies began in January and continued until he was arrested. The threats stemmed from an encounter Wornick had on July 4 last year with deputies who responded to a call about a disorderly man in Pueblo West.

Although a judge denied to release Wornick on a bond in March, he later was allowed to post a bond and be released to the home of a friend under the condition that he not leave the home except for going to mental health treatment.

The arrest affidavit quotes email Worwick allegedly sent to several persons on March 9: "I will use my skill the u.s. government trained me and I will hunt down and kill every pueblo sheriff deputy the true enemy of the people."

The email lists names of three deputies who responded to the July 4 incident.

A sheriff's detective obtained a warrant to search Wornick's home and found rifles and ammunition, the affidavit states.