DENVER (CBS4) – A man accused of threatening a state lawmaker over her stance on gun control entered a not guilty plea on Monday.
Franklin Sain, 42, was arraigned on charges of ethnic intimidation and attempting to influence a public servant.
Prosecutors say Sain sent Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, emails and voicemails intended to intimidate or harass her about her stance on gun control.
Sain’s attorney is asking for specifics from prosecutors. He wants the district attorney to be very specific about what comments Sain allegedly made to Fields that he considers criminal.
“We’re hoping that the district attorneys dismiss this case. While Mr. Sain’s conduct … was reprehensible, vile, it’s not unconstitutional, it’s protected speech, especially speech that’s directed to a political figure about a political issue,” attorney Siddhartha Rathod said.
Police said Sain has acknowledged sending Fields emails and messages laced with profanity and racial slurs. In one message, Sain allegedly told Fields he hoped someone would “Giffords” her, an apparent reference to the 2011 shooting and wounding of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona. A police affidavit said Sain apologized for his comments.
Rathod says Sain did send an apology in an email to Fields, who was the primary sponsor of much of the gun control legislation in this past session.
“The kinds of tone and the threats in the emails, they were very racial, they were very harassing, they were threatening,” Fields told CBS4 in February.
Sain is a former technology executive at SofTec Solutions in Englewood and has been fired from his job.