A Michigan prosecutor sought a life sentence Tuesday for a voter who licked shut an absentee ballot envelope during the 2020 election.
Peter Trzos was returning his absentee ballot in person in November, when he allegedly led Keego Harbor city clerk Tammy Neeb “to believe he had infected her with COVID-19,” WXYZ reported in December.
According to Trzos, he did not trust his ballot would be returned in time via the mail system, so he delivered it himself to the city hall. He also did not trust Neeb “because of their differing political beliefs,” and wanted to feed the ballot into the machine himself.
“The envelope wasn’t licked. It wasn’t sealed closed. And Mr. Trzos didn’t want to lick the ballot, but this clerk made him remove his mask to lick the ballot,” attorney Nicholas Somberg told the news station.
“And I’m supposed to remove my mask and lick an envelope that someone else has handled just to turn it in? If anything I am the one who was threatened,” Trzos added.
The police report says Trzos made a “deliberate facial/mouth motion of building up saliva in his mouth.” That he “vigorously licked the ballot” and “forcefully put it in the city clerk’s hand.”
Trzos attorney, Somberg, said his client “allegedly made some sort of joke about COVID being on the ballot or him getting COVID because of him doing what they told him to do.”
But the clerk wasn’t laughing. She called her husband telling him to “stay at their secondary home as a precaution,” according to her statement. She feared she had been exposed to a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus.
Trzos allegedly told Neeb, “Here’s some Covid for you,” and was charged with “falsely claiming to expose someone to a harmful biological substance.”
Somberg posted Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s intention on Facebook:
Oakland County Prosecutors served us a sentencing enhancement seeking up to ***LIFE IN PRISON*** for Peter Trzos for the…
Because Trzos was convicted three times previously for marijuana-related charges, McDonald’s wanted his sentence in this case enhanced to life in prison.
In 2013, Trzos was charged with “Felony firearms, three counts of intent to manufacture and deliver marijuana, and possession of analogues (steroids),” according to the Fenton Tri County Times.
He was also charged for “having brass knuckles, which is considered possession of a dangerous weapon.”