Manhattan Man Charged with Threatening to Kill Sotomayor

A Manhattan man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he threatened to kill U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to keep his girlfriend out of prison.

A criminal complaint says John Zaubler called 911 from his West 72nd Street apartment last Saturday and said he was going to kill Sotomayor by "blowing her up.''

The 48-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty on Friday to making a terroristic threat at his Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment by videoconference from Bellevue Hospital's prison ward.

Judge James Gibbons ordered a psychiatric examination for Zaubler. The judge ordered him held without bail and scheduled a hearing for July 6.

Fran Hoffinger, who reportedly is John Zaubler's lawyer, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. There was no phone number listed under his name.

Democrats have more than enough votes to confirm Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, but are one short of the 60 it would take to overcome a Republican filibuster.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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