Judge makes ruling for Ozark man in case of Obama threat

Deryke Matthew Pfeifer (Source: Dale Co. Jail)
Deryke Matthew Pfeifer (Source: Dale Co. Jail)

A judge has ruled that Deryke Matthew Pfeifer, of Ozark, is mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of threatening the President of the United State's life.

Judge Myron Thompson did however rule that authorities can hold Pfeifer for as long as four months to determine whether he can regain his sanity.

Pfeifer was arrested in July after allegedly making threats against President Barack Obama.

The office of U.S. Attorney George Beck, Jr. says Pfeifer is charged with one count that states he "did knowingly and willfully make a threat to take the life of, to kidnap, and to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States of America, specifically threatening to kill President Barack Obama."

The threat is said to have occurred in Dale County around July 2.

Federal prosecutors have requested mental competency examinations, but it was not immediately known if that request had been granted.

The Associated Press reports that Pfeifer is accused of making phone calls to the Federal Protective Service and using Facebook to threaten the president. The AP cited court documents that Pfeifer posted one threatening video holding a Glock pistol, and a Glock was later found at his residence.

Secret Service agent Marcus Shumack filed an affidavit saying that Pfeiffer told him in an interview that God was going to destroy the president and everything around him.

The Secret Service, which is responsible for protection of the president, investigates hundreds, if not thousands, of threats each year. Threats against the president are a class D felony.

This is not the first threat in Alabama to gain the attention of the agency. A Birmingham man was found guilty of threatening President Obama's life through a series of tweets in 2012. That man, 26-year-old Jarvis Britton was sentenced to a year in prison.

The case against Pfeifer is being handled by the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Alabama.

The director of the Federal Defenders Office in Montgomery, Christine Freeman, calls it a complicated case, but says more about Pfeiffer's status will come out at court hearing Wednesday.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed.