Furlough granted for man accused of Obama threats

Federal Magistrate Judge James Seibert granted Ryan Kirker’s temporary release from jail so Kirker, who is accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama, can visit his dying father.

In June, Seibert ordered Kirker, 21, of McMechen, detained until trial because he posed a threat to the community, particularly Obama and the president’s family.

Kirker’s defense attorneys have since requested Kirker be released from jail, saying his father is terminally ill and has only months to live.

According to Seibert, Kirker’s father’s health is irrelevant to whether Kirker poses a threat to society. The judge ruled, however, that the prognosis is a “compelling reason” to grant his temporary release from jail for one visit with his father.

The United States Marshals Service is responsible for supervising Kirker during his release. Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Alex Neville on Friday declined to say when Kirker will be released, citing security reasons.

Officials at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville said Kirker has not been released since being arrested on May 30.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld opposed Kirker’s release in a motion filed with the court, noting he was detained because he presented a threat to President Obama and his family.

“The fact that the defendant’s father’s health has deteriorated does not make the defendant any less of a danger,” Ihlenfeld stated. “It does nothing to lessen concerns about the severity of the racial hatred expressed in the letters and the planning set forth therein.”

Kirker allegedly sent letters to Obama using racial slurs and threatening to kill him. Prosecutors say one of the letters to the White House closed with the phrase “KKK forever.”

Another invited the president to McMechen so Kirker “can have a shot” at him. In a letter to a friend, Kirker allegedly mentions a semi-automatic rifle and armor-piercing ammunition, and states he and his friend will travel to Washington, D.C., and kill Obama.