Man charged with threatening to kill presidential candidates found dead as jury was deciding verdict

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man charged with threatening the lives of presidential candidates last year has been found dead while a jury was deciding his verdict, according to court filings Thursday.

The jury began weighing the case against Tyler Anderson, 30, of Dover on Tuesday after a trial that began Monday. His lawyer did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment. A court filing said “the government has learned that the defendant is deceased.” Prosecutors have moved to dismiss the indictment.

The U.S. Attorney’s office did not name the candidates. When Anderson was arrested, a spokesperson for Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said that texts were directed at his campaign. Anderson had told the FBI in an interview that he sent similar texts to “multiple other campaigns,” according to a court document.

Anderson was indicted by a federal grand jury in December on three counts of sending a threat using interstate commerce. Each charge provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Police in Concord, New Hampshire, were asked to help search for Anderson after he failed to show up for court and eventually located a car in a garage at Concord Hospital at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Deputy Chief John Thomas.

Officers detected a strong chemical smell coming from the car and called in a hazmat team. Anderson’s body was removed from the car and pronounced dead. There were no weapons found. Thomas said no foul play is suspected at this time.

Anderson was arrested on Dec. 9 and was released Dec. 14. A federal judge set forth several conditions for his release, including that he avoid contact with any presidential candidate and their political campaigns.

Anderson, who was receiving mental health treatment, was also ordered to take all of his prescribed medications.

According to court documents, Anderson had received a text message from Ramaswamy’s campaign notifying him of a breakfast event in Portsmouth. The campaign staff got two text messages in response. One threatened to shoot the candidate in the head, and the other threatened to kill everyone at the event and desecrate their corpses.

The charges say similar texts were sent to two different candidates before the Ramaswamy messages, on Nov. 22 and Dec. 6.

A court document filed when Anderson was arrested included a screenshot of texts from Dec. 6 threatening a mass shooting in response to an invitation to see a candidate “who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.” Republican Chris Christie called his events “Tell it Like It Is Town Halls.”

A spokesperson for the Christie campaign had thanked law enforcement officials for addressing those threats.

The U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t name victims out of respect for their privacy and our obligations under the Crime Victims Rights Act, a DOJ spokesperson said.


LeBlanc reported from Boston.