Mitchell Kusick gets time served, probation for threat to kill Obama
Kusick has been in federal custody since then, suggesting that his words were being taken very seriously. But he's now been sentenced to time served plus probation for his impolitic statements -- although he could still face time in stir for other threats against schoolchildren. Photos, details and an original document below.
As we've reported, the original complaint, on view below in its entirety, reveals that Kusick came to the attention of federal authorities on October 30, 2012, via his therapist, Corey Candeleria. The previous day, Kusick, in the company of his aunt and uncle, arrived for an emergency session following a confrontation between Mitchell and his parents, with whom he'd been living.
A self-portrait of Mitchell Kusick from his Facebook page.
The fight is said to have started over Kusick's withdrawal of money -- plenty of it -- from his savings account. In the midst of the argument, he allegedly "informed them that he was okay with homicide," at which point his dad ordered him out of the house. In addition, Kusick is said to have physically struggled with his mother and pushed her to the floor before heading to his aunt and uncle's house. There, he took one of their rifles and hid it in their home before heading to Walmart to purchase ammunition.
Fortunately, personnel at the store refused to sell Kusick what he wanted. He returned to his aunt and uncle's place sans ammo and went to sleep. Then, the next morning, his aunt found out he had the rifle and forced him to return it before hightailing it to the therapist's office.
What were his plans for the weapon? In conversation with Candelaria, he said he planned to use it "to kill children at a local high school on Halloween" -- Standley High School, specifically. His idea was to continue shooting until he could draw police into a firefight. He admitted to having had such homicidal fantasies over the course of five or six years, fueled by obsessions with events like the Columbine shootings, the slayings at Virginia Tech, and the abduction and murder of ten-year-old Westminster girl Jessica Ridgeway.
In addition, Kusick told his therapist that he'd been tracking President Obama's many visits to the Denver area during the 2012 campaign season, because of his desire to go down in history as the "guy who killed Obama." Along the way, he noted that he'd practiced shooting an assault rifle on a firing range in Grand Junction, where he had attended what is now known as Colorado Mesa University; his Facebook page, which is no longer online, listed him as a nursing student at CMU, with an anticipated graduation date of 2015.
He also said he'd previously owned a couple of rifles, but his parents made him get rid of them -- and he also had a fascination with bombs. Thoughts of using them weren't new: He claimed that when he was a student at Broomfield High School, he'd obtained blueprints for the building and started plotting out a preliminary attack, with a special interest in trying to figure out the most efficient "kill zone."
These comments were more than enough for Candeleria to advise Kusick's aunt and uncle to have their nephew hospitalized. He was put on a 72-hour hold at Lutheran Hospital, after which the therapist contacted law enforcement.
On the 30th, Kusick confirmed all that he'd told Candeleria during an extended conversation with a Westminster police officer, and added plenty more.
Continue to read more about Mitchell Kusick, including a video and the criminal complaint.
In this Facebook photo, Kusick noted that he was training for an Oktoberfest triathlon.
For instance, Kusick said he thought a shotgun would have been the best weapon to use in killing trick-or-treaters, since it would allow "spraying" of victims. And while he claimed not to have a desire to murder members of his family, he said he had a list of those he'd marked for death -- among them a friend with weapons he wanted.
Regarding his interest in assassinating Obama, he insisted that his motivation wasn't political. Indeed, he said he "believes he has done a good job with the hand he was dealt." His motivation, then, was notoriety of the sort obtained by James Holmes, whose attack on the Century 16 had struck close to home. Kusick said his mom was in the mental health field and had been among the first responders to the July 20 tragedy.
He had studied the theater assault, Kusick went on, and had theories about errors made by Holmes -- and how he would have done things differently. Nonetheless, he noted that "I share an understanding of his situation."
These assertions were particularly frightening only a few months removed from the theater shooting -- and as reported by CBS4, Kusick could still face additional punishment for the threats against trick-or-treaters at Standley Lake High. Indeed, a docket of high-profile cases assembled by the Jeffco district attorney's office shows that he's got a pretrial conference scheduled a week from today, August 15. But 9News reports that the lingering allegation is relatively modest: interference with a school, a misdemeanor.
In terms of the Obama threats, however, Kusick changed his plea to guilty and was sentenced yesterday to time served plus three years probation.
Look below to see the original 9News package about Kusick, followed by the aforementioned criminal complaint.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Mitchell Kusick busted for alleged plot to kill Obama, murder trick-or-treaters."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.