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Woman pleads guilty to threatening President Obama's life

Teddy Bear Paradise pleaded guilty on Aug. 15 to threatening the president's life.
Teddy Bear Paradise pleaded guilty on Aug. 15 to threatening the president's life. Photo courtesy of Mercury News, used with permission

Teddy Bear Paradise, 57, pled guilty on Aug. 15 to threatening the president’s life. The Santa Clara, California woman, whose original name was Denise O’Neal, will be held in federal prison in Texas until her sentencing, which is scheduled for Nov. 7.

On Nov. 28, 2013, Paradise mailed a 16-page, handwritten letter to President Obama, warning him of her intentions to assassinate. “I am coming to Washington D.C. to murder you,” she wrote. “I am permanently physically and mentally disabled. All I wanted to do was rent a home for myself.” She was arrested four weeks later on Dec. 26.

This letter was not the first from Paradise, and today’s guilty plea was not her first for the same charge, either. In 2008 Paradise pled guilty for submitting a letter to the White House that contained threat to kill George W. Bush. In 2009 she threatened to kill her probation officer, and was subsequently sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. For this most recent charge, Paradise could be sentenced to prison for up to five years and a $250,000 fine, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Also occurring on Aug. 15, another in custody for threatening the president was ordered by a judge to undergo psychiatric evaluation. The Rochester, New York man is accused of sending threatening Tweets to President Obama, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Lt. Gov. Roberty Duffy.

Obama has been threatened many times during his term as president, beginning while he was first campaigning for the office in 2008. Three armed men were arrested that year near the Democratic National Convention, where Obama first received nomination for the office. In Nov. 2011, an Idaho man fired a semi-automatic rifle at the White House. In April 2013, a Mississippi man mailed a letter to the president that was laced with poisonous ricin.