Written by Gary Craig
This photo of Ian Rotunno was shared on his Facebook page.
The case against a Greece man accused of threats against former President George W. Bush could move to a federal court in central New York.
A prosecutor and defense lawyer said in U.S. District Court on Wednesday that the case against Ian Rotunno may be moved to the federal court district encompassing much of central New York because any alleged threats likely occurred there.
While court papers were filed recently signaling a possible plea deal for Rotunno, talks of a move of the case to another judicial district indicates a plea agreement is unlikely.
In October, Rotunno left his workplace in Gates after allegedly asking a co-worker whether former Vice President Dick Cheney was still alive. Rotunno allegedly said he was going home, “grabbing my shotgun and I’m heading to Washington, D.C.”
Rotunno then left his Greece apartment with a loaded shotgun, hunting knives and handcuffs in his car, authorities allege. A Secret Service agent reached Rotunno by telephone, and he turned himself into the Owego Police Department.
There, authorities allege, he said he planned to drive to Washington, D.C., and fire his shotgun into the Reflecting Pool at the Washington Mall. He said he would either be arrested or killed there, a Secret Service agent alleged in an affidavit.
Rotunno also allegedly said that if he were in a room with former President Bush he would “kill him with his bare hands.”
In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley Tyler said federal prosecutors in central New York might take the case because Rotunno allegedly made the threat against Bush there.
In court records authorities alleged that a psychiatrist at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, Steuben County, also interviewed Rotunno and said Rotunno could be “an immediate danger to federal government employees.”
However, in court Wednesday, Rotunno’s attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Mark Hosken said he had interviewed the psychiatrist who said that Rotunno had made no threats against Bush or others while at the hospital.
A detention hearing is scheduled for Rotunno on Tuesday. He has been jailed since his arrest. He could be freed pending the filing of charges in central New York.