Man who threatened senator pleads to 10 crimes

The Santa Clara man who threatened a state senator’s life early this year over that lawmaker’s gun-control efforts pleaded guilty Monday to 10 crimes that could put him behind bars for up to a decade.

Everett BashamEverett Basham was arrested in February, about four weeks after he emailed a detailed threat to state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco. California Highway Patrol officers who searched his home found guns, explosives and chemicals to make explosives.

Yee issued a statement Monday thanking “everyone who had a hand in bringing this case to a swift conclusion.”

“I appreciate that justice was served in this matter and I hope that this man receives all the help he needs,” Yee said. “As I said back in February, threats like these will not deter me from pushing for common sense gun safety legislation to protect our children and our communities.”

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office said Basham pleaded guilty Monday to seven felonies: three counts of possession of an assault weapon and one count each of attempted terrorist threats, reckless possession of a destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make a destructive device, and forgery of government ID. He also pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors: possession of a destructive device, carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle, and carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle.

Two other felony counts were dismissed as part of his plea deal. He’ll be back in court on Dec. 17 for receipt of his probation report, which the judge will use in determining a sentence.

Leland YeeYee is the author of SB 47, which would prohibit so-called bullet buttons and other devices used to circumvent the state’s assault-weapons ban and allow fast reloading. But Yee back-burned the bill this fall as state Senate President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, tried to consolidate support for his SB 374, which would’ve added all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines to the state’s list of banned assault weapons.

When Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374 earlier this month, Yee issued a statement saying he’ll revive SB 47 next year. “In the governor’s veto message, he spoke of the importance of our gun laws and the need to make sure they are carefully tailored,” Yee said at the time. “SB 47 will protect the public while keeping an appropriately narrow scope.”

SB 47 is now before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it could be heard as early as January.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Only citizen who took Mr Yee seriously is a craZy man.