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Man Pleads Not Guilty in Threat to Shoot Quayle

A Long Beach man Monday pleaded not guilty to calling the White House and threatening to shoot Vice President Dan Quayle.

Keith Richard Kerna faces two federal charges of threatening to kill the vice president. An affidavit accuses him of phoning the White House on March 10 and telling an operator that “the vice president will be shot on sight.”

The affidavit says that Kerna called back three minutes later and talked to a Secret Service agent. He allegedly said that “they don’t let me talk, up the downstairs, Dodge City, I go to the V.A., they go to the United Way, Vice President Quayle is dead.”

Kerna allegedly called again an hour later and told the agent the number of the Long Beach public telephone he was using. A Long Beach police officer arrested Kerna, who was residing at the Royal Hotel, while he was on the phone.

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Kerna also allegedly threatened to kill Quayle in 1991 and tried to jump a fence at the White House to speak to President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the affidavit states. But prosecutors could not be reached to say whether he was charged in those incidents.

Kerna’s lawyer, Robert Ramsey, told U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer that a psychiatrist had found his client competent to stand trial.

Kerna is scheduled to return to court May 26 for a hearing on pretrial motions.


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