Man charged with threatening VP could be released until trial

Local News

A judge will decide whether or not to release a Somerset County man before his trial for allegedly threatening to kill Vice President Mike Pence.

Tuesday afternoon, William Dunbar appeared in a federal district court for a second detention hearing. Prosecutors appealed another judge’s decision on September 26 to release Dunbar before his trial.

Dunbar is accused of making the threats before the vice president’s visit to the Flight 93 Memorial on September 11.

Police said the 22-year-old was on duty at the Army National Guard Training facility in Richland Township, when he allegedly told other guardsmen on multiple occasions he would kill the vice president if someone paid him enough.

Prosecutors said Dunbar should be detained because he poses a threat to the community. They said witnesses feared retaliation for coming forward and that Dunbar has a history of being quick-tempered and volatile.

Investigators said the military restricted Dunbar’s access to weapons and was monitored on base after expressing suicidal thoughts in June.

The defense argued that Dunbar’s alleged statements were conditional and should not be considered a real threat.

If Dunbar is released, he will be required to stay at home except for legal and court-ordered mental health appointments.

However, if released, prosecutors requested an immediate psychological evaluation of Dunbar and that he be detained until it’s complete.

Dunbar will remain at the Cambria County Jail until the judge reaches a decision later this week.

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