Ellisa Martinez, who made false threats against Broward county schools last year after watching an episode of Rachel Maddow's television show, has pled guilty in federal court and faces up to five years in prison.
I wrote about this story last November
but it's worth recapping again. A day after Rachel Maddow played (and replayed) a clip of Florida talk radio host Joyce Kaufman on her show, Ellisa Martinez sent a letter feigning support for Kaufman and 2nd amendment rights. The letter went on to suggest there would be a school shooting in coming days. Martinez then upped the ante by calling Kaufman's radio show and telling listeners that her husband was on the rampage with several loaded weapons and would turn up at a local school that day unless she could talk him out of it.
In fact, none of this was true. It was one woman's crazy attempt at making a political point after being offended by a carefully edited clip she'd seen on Maddow's show. However the result of this prank was no joke. There was a massive lockdown of 300 schools in Broward county Florida and several government buildings which lasted most of a day. Parents throughout the county were frightened, not knowing which school the armed madman might visit.
At first, Martinez' prank seemed to work as she'd intended. The left immediately jumped on radio host Kaufman (who at the time was stumping for candidate Allen West) and blamed her for encouraging the threats against local schools. But within a few days the FBI had traced the calls back to Ellisa Martinez who fled the state to her home in California and only later surrendered herself to police.
Now Ellisa Martinez has plead guilty
to making the false threats in federal court. She's expected to get 12 to 18 months in prison for the stunt though she could face five years. Sentencing is in July.
Martinez' attorney didn't offer an apology for his client so much as an excuse. He says it was all a big misunderstanding:
“She was trying to make a point to Ms. Kaufman. She was very concerned about the rhetoric Ms. Kaufman was using publically,” said Randall. “She was trying to be sarcastic and I don’t think her sarcasm was as obvious as she thought it was.”
Maddow, who played the Kaufman tape which inspired Martinez' act of sarcasm, has never mentioned anything about Ellisa Martinez or the court case on her show.