Man accused of tweeting threat to governor's son
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Milwaukee man accused of sending dozens of threatening and obscene tweets to Gov. Scott Walker's adult son told investigators he was angry at Walker and that his son was just an "innocent bystander," an investigator alleges in a criminal complaint.
Robert C. Peffer, 31, is due in court Monday for a pre-trial conference. He was charged last month with four misdemeanor counts of sending threatening or obscene computer messages, and a court commissioner set a $250 signature bond.
The tweets to Matt Walker, a Marquette University student, began June 30 when his father wished him a happy 20th birthday. Over the next six days, Peffer allegedly sent 36 tweets that threatened violence to Matt Walker or made lewd sexual references about him and his family, prosecutors contend.
Matt Walker reported the tweets to the law enforcement officer in charge of protecting him because he feared for his safety, the complaint said.
The tweets originated from the account "RepublicPrince2" with the user name Prince Peffer Jr., the complaint said. A Capitol Police officer interviewed Peffer on July 7, and Peffer said he was the only one who used the account and acknowledged sending the tweets.
Peffer told the officer he follows Gov. Walker's tweets to "fuel my anger" against the governor.
The officer then asked what Matt Walker had done to incur Peffer's anger.
"Nothing at all. It was just because he was Scott Walker's son," the complaint quotes Peffer as replying. "And I have been part of the recall since February 2011."
Peffer added that he doesn't like Gov. Walker's policies, and Matt Walker "was just an innocent bystander that is part of Scott Walker."
In some of the tweets, Peffer says Matt Walker needs to look upon him as God. In others he refers to Scott and Matt Walker using the N-word, and he makes references to rape and wanting to fight Matt Walker.
The charges against Peffer carry a maximum penalty of 360 days in jail and a $4,000 fine. At an initial appearance last month the court entered not-guilty pleas on Peffer's behalf.
Peffer's attorney, Dan Meylink, said in an email Tuesday that he couldn't comment on the specifics of the case because he hadn't received discovery materials or investigative reports.
Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for Gov. Walker, declined to comment on the charges. She said it was also the office's policy not to comment on the governor's security measures.
Peffer was also investigated in South Milwaukee last year for allegedly posting threats against President Barack Obama on his Facebook page. No charges were filed in that investigation, according to online federal and state court records.