Huelsman -with a list of Hollywood credits including work for Fox, Netflix, and NBC, pleaded in felony court to the charge of transmitting an interstate threat in October. Huelsman was believed to be nominated to win seven Primetime Emmys for his job as camera operator.
The Hollywood cameraman left an email to Rep. Gaetz's voicemail in the district office, telling Gaetz to “watch his back” and to “watch his children,” just three days following the 6th of January Capitol violence. Huelsman added that he was planning to “put a bullet” in Gaetz and his family and said he was going to “die in a shallow grave.”
“Tell [Gaetz] to watch his back, tell him to watch his children,” Huelsman reported in the text message. “I'm going after the guy … I'm going to murder him. …”I'm going to shoot you and then I'll shoot a bullet into one of your children too.”
Curtis Fallgatter, Huelsman's defense attorney, has confirmed the fact that Huelsman “lost all of his employment” after his arrest last year.
Fallgatter said in his case that January's Capitol violence inspired him to leave the alarming messages on Gaetz's phone just three days after the incident.
Fallgatter told Politico:
The timing of the incident is precisely the reason why the man did it. You've seen the news. You watched the protesters attack the Capitol which is shocking, and lots of people were angry and that's exactly what happened to Huelsman. … Huelsman was aware of all the supportive comments made by Gaetz declaring that they are decent people. … This is the reason he brought this case to court.
In the course of Huelsman's sentencing, fallgatter mentioned Gaetz's inability to speak with the committee on January 6 and his remarks regarding pro-abortion protesters' appearance to provide an explanation of “why Gaetz is such a magnet for people to get so upset with him.”
But U.S. District Court Judge T. Kent Wetherell II “frankly wasn't impressed with” his arguments, Fallgatter said.
The Secret Service previously investigated Huelsman for threats against a former president's family members via social media in an U.S. Department of Justice press release that was issued following his sentence.
U.S. Attorney Jason Coody gave the following speech:
The freedom of speech is a fundamental part of our democratic society. However, the making of threats to physical violence, as in this instance by a person who had made previous threats and was subsequently investigated for similar threats to physical violence is clearly illegal. … The sentence today acknowledges the defendant's numerous threats to commit violence, and will be a major dissuasion to those who use violence against another instead of engaging in legally-conducted debate.
In addition to a half-year period of house detention, Huelsman must pay a $10,000 fine and serve 5 years probation.