Two conspiracy theorists who have claimed that the gun massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas late last year was a hoax were arrested at First Baptist Church, the site of the mass shooting, the San Antonio Express-News first reported Monday night.
In documents shared with TPM by Tom Caldwell, the Wilson County Attorney, police allege that both Robert Ussery (pictured above, left) and Jodi Mann (above, right) trespassed on church property by refusing to leave when asked by pastor Frank Pomeroy, and that both resisted arrest.
Police also allege that Ussery made terroristic threats, a Class B misdemeanor, against both Pomeroy and another man, Rod Green by threatening to hang them. Ussery also had less than two ounces of marijuana in his glove box at the time of his arrest, police said.
Pomeroy told the Express-News that he saw the pair approach the church and intervened when Mann began to write “the truth shall set you free” on a nearby poster designated for visitors’ notes to the church.
Ussery “continually yelled and screamed and hollered and told me he was gonna hang me from a tree, and pee on me while I’m hanging,” Pomeroy told the paper.
The pastor, whose 14-year-old daughter was killed in the massacre, added, referring to Ussery: “He said, ‘Your daughter never even existed. Show me her birth certificate. Show me anything to say she was here.'”
“I just told him there was enough evidence already visible, so if he chooses not to see that, how would I know he would believe anything else?” Pomeroy told the Express-News.
In an email to TPM Tuesday night, Ussery said in part, “we are 100% innocent of all charges expect the possession of marijuana charge which we proudly accept.”
“As far threats there were never any specific threats made by us towards them,” he added. “The only thing we said was that for the lies he has told we hoped one day to see the people hang those involved for their treason against the American people for participating in the Department Of Homeland Security Capstone Exercises (community drills).”
On Nov. 5 of last year, Devin Patrick Kelley killed himself and 26 people, including an unborn child, after he opened fire inside First Baptist Church. Years earlier, Kelley pleaded guilty in a military court to domestic assault charges related to his physical abuse of his wife and stepson. The conviction should have prevented him from purchasing firearms and body armor. Following the shooting, the Air Force revealed it had not shared Kelley’s conviction with the FBI.
Ussery is the founder of Side Thorn, a conspiracy website, and Mann refers to herself as “Conspiracy Granny” online, the Express-News reported.
Sidethorn.com alleges that dozens of mass casualty events are “Department Of Homeland Security Capstone Exercises & U.N. Drills” and offers a $100,000 reward from “proof of death” for the events.
“Before talking to him today, I thought he was trying to play some angle,” Pomeroy told the Express-News Monday, referring to Ussery. “But I think he’s truly demented. I think he truly believes his own rhetoric. I can’t explain it.”
This post has been updated.