Man serving as own lawyer in trial over threat to Kansas lawmaker

Congressman Jake LaTurner, R-Kan.
Congressman Jake LaTurner, R-Kan.(WIBW)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 3:12 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A man charged with threatening to kill a Kansas congressman has said in federal court that he has a “very religious” defense.

Chase Neill also began Wednesday to act as his own attorney, despite a judge’s warnings that he is making a big mistake. Prosecutors hoped to call Republican U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner as a witness Wednesday afternoon.

LaTurner’s office in Topeka received a call June 5 from Neill that prosecutors say was a real death threat. The federal public defenders who initially represented Neill said local officials in his hometown of Lawrence saw the 32-year-old as harmless and that the same phone call also included a threat against the entire universe.