Local News in Brief : ‘Symbolic Assassin’ Guilty on Gun Count

A man who planned a “symbolic assassination” of George Bush in Woodland Hills just before the election was convicted Wednesday of bringing a starter’s pistol to a Bush rally.

John Arthur Junot, 40, was found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct that disrupted the duties of Secret Service agents. U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian, who convicted Junot after a one-day, non-jury trial, set sentencing for March 6.

Junot, a paralegal for a Los Angeles legal aid firm, faces up to 18 months in prison and a $100,000 fine. He has been in custody since his arrest Nov. 6 at Warner Park.

Jeanne Hetzel, chief psychologist at the Terminal Island federal prison, testified she alerted the Secret Service that Junot was a “threat to national security” after interviewing him Dec. 3.


“He felt violence could be justified if it was for a just cause,” Hetzel said of Junot, who she said planned the “symbolic assassination” to remind Americans that Dan Quayle would be next in line for the presidency if Bush was elected.

In 1982, Junot was tried and acquitted on charges of possessing illegal explosives he allegedly planned to use to bomb the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.