A judge rescheduled a hearing on Tuesday for a La Mesa man upon receiving a defense request to submit an extensive psychological report.
The man directed threats at the San Diego and Washington, D.C., offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
John David Weissinger, 54, pleaded guilty in August to a charge of making a criminal threat, with hate crime allegations, and possession of an illegal assault rifle. He faces probation and up to a year in jail when he is sentenced Jan. 19.
A female employee at CAIR’s Kearny Mesa office testified during a preliminary hearing in April that she came to work the morning of Jan. 15 and listened to a voice mail left by Weissinger.
“It was a horrific message,” said the woman, who did not want to be publicly identified. “I was terrified.”
She said the male caller threatened to shoot her and fellow employees, mentioning the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris a week earlier.
“I believed he was going to kill me, (and) everybody in my office,” the CAIR employee testified. She said she called police and gave them Weissinger’s name, which she got from caller ID.
The woman testified she had seen Weissinger hanging around the local CAIR office several times in the weeks before the hate-filled voice message was left.
San Diego police Detective Dean Way testified that an assault rifle was found during a Jan. 27 search of Weissinger’s home. The detective said Weissinger admitted leaving the voice mail and also sending a similar threatening email hours later to CAIR’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“He admitted everything,” the detective said, testifying that Weissinger told him he was drunk at the time and that it was a “stupid thing to do.”
In the threatening email, Weissinger wrote that he was coming with enough firepower to “kill all of you,” Way testified.
“This is unacceptable,” Hanif Mohebi, CAIR’s executive director in San Diego, said outside court on Tuesday. “There is no reason for anyone … doesn’t matter the religion, or ethnicity, or anything else, doesn’t matter who the victim or the criminal is. Violence, crime, is unacceptable here, or anywhere.
We should not stand for it.”
— City News Service