Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Fani Willis Over Trump Trial

An Alabama man, who last summer left threatening messages with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat, pleaded guilty on June 18 to making threatening interstate phone calls.

Arthur Ray Hanson II, 58, an insurance salesman from Huntsville, made a series of threatening phone calls about a week before Donald Trump and 18 other defendants were indicted in Fulton County in August 2023.

Hanson, who was indicted last October, admitted at the plea hearing that he called the Fulton County customer service number on August 6, 2023, and left voicemail messages for Willis and Sheriff Patrick Labat.

In his message to Willis, Hanson suggested that she should be “very afraid” since she wouldn’t always have others around her. He warned Willis that if she indicted Trump, she better start “looking over your shoulder” whenever she was alone.

Just minutes before leaving his message for Willis, Hanson left a voicemail for Sheriff Labat warning that “some bad *expletive*” would happen to him if the sheriff’s office took a booking photo of Trump.

In his plea hearing last week, Hanson told US Magistrate Regina Cannon that his messages were never meant to be threats, saying he only “made a stupid phone call” and insisting that he was “not a violent person.”

Hanson admitted that he had been angry about the Fulton County investigation into Trump’s actions following the 2020 presidential elections and hoped that the phone calls would get officials in the county to “back off Trump.”

He told the judge that he was not aware that the messages he left were “threatening,” adding that he saw them as more of a “warning.”

Bret Hobson, the Assistant US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, told the judge that prosecutors would ask for leniency in sentencing because Hanson took responsibility for his actions.

The maximum sentence for making threatening interstate phone calls is five years in federal prison for each count.

A date for Hanson’s sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.