Kerry T. Prater, a 53-year-old man from West Liberty, Kentucky, was armed with two loaded handguns, a semi-automatic rifle and several hundred rounds of ammunition when he tried to run an Erlanger police roadblock set up for President Obama’s motorcade on September 17, 2012 and was forced off the road by police.
Prater’s defense, according to Cincinnati.Com, was that even though he was found competent to stand trial, he “does suffer from a personality disorder not otherwise specified with paranoia and antisocial features… (and) Mr. Prater’s cognitive abilities lie in the low average range.”
So, Prater is anti-social and paranoid and he has low cognitive abilities.
Although not cited in the Cincinnati article, Prater also had a lengthy criminal history (his brushes with the law read a bit like George Zimmermans – nothing big enough to put the breaks on his issues). Huff Po detailed his past criminal history last year, which included at that time “a six-month jail sentence for assault, a short jail sentence for menacing, a 60-day suspended sentence for harassment, a 60-day suspended jail sentence for assault of a family member, a one-year suspended sentence for carrying a concealed deadly weapon and several orders from judges barring Prater from carrying firearms.”
Mr. Prater also allegedly threatened former President Bush in 2004, according to family members’ reports to authorities, though it’s not clear what kind of threat was made.
Although Prater’s attorney asked for the Judge to take it easy on him because he is mentally impaired and had been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital on two previous occasions, U.S. District Judge David Bunning didn’t buy cognitive impairment and a personality disorder as an excuse. Prater was, after all, deemed competent for trial. (Note: America’s policy failure re mental health issues is of some issue, although his access to firearms after being ordered twice into a mental hospital could also be an argument for more reasonable gun control.) The sentence of a four-year prison term was only a few months short of what the Assistant U.S. Attorney requested.
Prater’s attorney wrote, “Although it was determined that Mr. Prater is competent to stand trial, it was opined that he does suffer from a personality disorder not otherwise specified with paranoia and antisocial features. It was also determined that, based upon the results of testing, Mr. Prater’s cognitive abilities lie in the low average range.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Bracke explained that Prater’s history of threats and violence amplified the “ordinary dangers posed by a prohibited person with firearms. His insistence on placing himself and his arsenal in the presence of the presidential motorcade created a real risk of violence.”
Family member say Prater makes a lot of threats. His own attorney says he’s not very bright and he suffers from paranoia. None of these symptoms stray too far from your average Tea Partier these days.
The modus operandi seems pretty familiar: Punish the world for your own mental problems and cognitive impairments, and follow that up by extorting people with threats and acts of violence when you don’t get your way (not getting their way is also referred to by Republicans as “Obama’s tyranny”).
Prater’s history of threats and violence and his arsenal created a real risk of violence and now he’s going to prison. Let this be a head’s up to Tea Partiers everywhere to no act on their consistent threats. You don’t need to fire your weapon to be a menace to society and deemed a danger to others.