NEW BOSTON, Texas (AP) — A Texas man linked to the “boogaloo” movement who livestreamed threats to kill police was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder of a peace officer.
On Thursday, a jury in Bowie County found 38-year-old Aaron Caleb Swenson guilty of attempted capital murder of a peace officer and found that he'd violated the Texas Hate Crimes Act, the Texarkana Gazette reported. On Wednesday, before testimony began before the judge, Swenson had pleaded guilty to terroristic threatening and evading arrest.
The newspaper reported that on Friday, the jury sentenced him to 50 years in prison for attempted murder, 20 years for terroristic threatening with a hate crime enhancement and 10 years for evading arrest. Prosecutor Kelly Crisp said the terms will run concurrently.
The jury also assessed maximum fines on each of the three charges for a total of $30,000.
Swenson testified that he was trying to be killed by police in April 2020 when he made the threats and never intended to hurt anyone when he streamed on Facebook Live while driving in Texarkana, Texas, that he was searching for a police officer to kill.
Texarkana Police Officer Jonathan Price testified that he was parked on a city street when he heard Swenson say he had “found his prey” and was turning his vehicle around.
“I realized he was talking about me,” Price said. “I put the car in drive and took off. I didn’t want to get ambushed by myself.”
Texarkana, Texas, Crime Scene Analyst Spencer Price testified about the two pistols, 12-gauge shotgun, handmade sword and 156 rounds of ammunition found in Swenson’s truck.
Homeland Security Special Agent Gregory Harry testified that Swenson’s plan was to shoot a police officer and then decapitate the officer with a sword.
Swenson was linked to the “boogaloo” movement, a network of gun enthusiasts who often express support for overthrowing the U.S. government, according to police and the Tech Transparency Project, which tracks technology companies.