California man who threatened Boston Globe journalists pleads guilty

/ CBS/AP

Boston — A California man who threatened to kill employees of The Boston Globe after the newspaper called on media organizations nationwide to denounce President Trump's attacks on the media pleaded guilty Wednesday, federal prosecutors said.

Robert Chain, 68, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty to seven counts of making threatening communications in interstate commerce, the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said. He faces five years in prison per count at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 23.

Neither Chain nor his attorney spoke when they left court. His attorney, William Weinreb, previously said Chain took "full responsibility" for his actions. "He is anxious to make a full, public apology, expressing his sincere remorse to those he affected," Weinreb said in an email last month.

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Chain was arrested in August after authorities say he made 14 calls threatening the lives of Globe staff in retaliation for its coordinated and nonpartisan editorial response to Trump's frequent attacks on the news media.

Robert Chain Facebook

"You are the enemy of the people,'" Chain allegedly said on Aug. 13, according to prosecutors, echoing Trump's repeated references to the media. "We will hunt you down and kill you and your dogs."

Many of the calls were laced with profanities. After one call on Aug. 16 when Chain threatened to shoot an employee at a specific time, local law enforcement responded to the Globe's offices and maintained a presence outside the building. Chain initially pleaded not guilty, CBS Boston reported.

When the FBI raided his home, they found 20 guns, including a semi-automatic rifle he purchased in May 2018, according to court records. He did not face any firearms-related charges. Chain is retired from the international sales and trade business.

First published on May 15, 2019 / 4:53 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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