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New York man who threatened George W. Bush ordered to receive mental health treatment

President George W. Bush delivers remarks at Max

President George W. Bush delivers remarks at Max M. Fisher National Republican Award Dinner in Livonia, Michigan, on June 25, 2008. Credit: EPA / Jeff Kowalsky

An upstate man charged in February with making threats against former President George W. Bush was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan Friday to 6 months of home confinement and ordered to receive mental health treatment.

Benjamin Smith, 45, of Pittsford was arrested in Manhattan in February. He had been reported to police when his mother found a threatening note, and was located in Manhattan in a car with a loaded rifle, a machete and a gasoline container.

He told police that "Bush will get his," and said during booking that he was "divorced and not currently seeing anyone, but I am working on a relationship with Barbara Bush." Barbara Bush, 32, is a daughter of the former president.

A teacher by training, Smith has a history of mental illness. In April, he pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm after having previously been committed to a mental institution. Federal guidelines had called for a 12- to- 18-month prison sentence.

U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein said the time Smith already served in jail was enough, and sentenced him to home detention as part of a 1-year term of probation. But he said Smith still faces state court sentencing for violating probation on a criminal mischief charge in Livingston County.

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