Judge agrees to drop threats caseA federal judge has agreed to close the case of a West Fargo man whose conviction for threatening President George W. Bush was thrown out after he served his time.
By: By Dave Kolpack, The Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — A federal judge has agreed to close the case of a West Fargo man whose conviction for threatening President George W. Bush was thrown out after he served his time.
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson overturned the conviction in July and ordered a new trial for Daniel Cvijanovich, 30, who was released from prison in 2009 after serving his entire sentence of 19 months.
Prosecutors asked last week to drop the case after debating an appeal. Erickson issued a final order Monday dismissing the charges.
Cvijanovich’s attorney, Benjamin Thomas, said he was happy with the judge’s order.
“This is exactly what we argued for during Dan’s trial. The allegations against him were not true, and the court has now acknowledged that dismissal of the charges is appropriate,” Thomas said in a statement. “Dan’s name has been cleared, and he now has a bright future. That is very gratifying.”
Prosecutors said in court documents that if Cvijanovich was convicted after a new trial, he would serve no sentence. They noted he is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of a previous felony conviction.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon said he had no comment beyond what was in court documents.
A jury found Cvijanovich guilty in 2007 of telling a fellow Stutsman County Correctional Center inmate he wanted to kill Bush. Defense attorneys argued during the trial that the inmate was not credible, and a judge later overturned the sentence because Cvijanovich did not know about a letter in which the inmate told his cousin he was willing to lie to avoid more prison time in his own criminal case.
The government claimed the conversation took place while Cvijanovich was serving time for throwing rocks at a federal building, reportedly to protest the imprisonment of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier was convicted in 1977 of shooting two FBI agents on a South Dakota reservation and is serving a life sentence.
Cvijanovich has said he’s hoping to move on with his life and perhaps attend law school.