State Sen. Leland Yee Target of Santa Clara Threat

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    The thumping dance beat and soaring voices might ve sounded like any ordinary gathering of ladies in celebration. Marianne Favro reports.

    The search of a Santa Clara engineer's home continued on Thursday after state police said they found "more destructive devices," and after it was revealed that  State Sen. Leland Yee was threatened.

    Authorities took Everett Basham, 45, who once worked for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, into custody Tuesday night on charges including suspicion of threatening public officials, illegal possession of chemicals used to make an explosive, possessing an explosive and having an illegally loaded firearm in his truck, according to Santa Clara County jail records.

    Raw Video: Leland Yee Comments on Threat

    [BAY] Raw Video: Leland Yee Comments on Threat
    At a news conference on Thursday, State Sen. Leland Yee says the threat made against him was "very specific" and detailed in how it would be carried out. CHP officers arrested Everett Basham, 45, of Santa Clara in connection with making that threat.

    Authorities detonated explosives in front of his home on Tuesday night. The San Jose Police Bomb Squad detonated another set of explosives on Thursday, in an undisclosed, off-site location.

    Yee's office on Wednesday night confirmed that the Democratic state senator had received a  threatening email a month ago. 

    State Senator Target of Santa Clara Threat

    [BAY] State Senator Target of Santa Clara Threat
    State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was the target of a threat, allegedly made by Everett Basham, 45, of Santa Clara, his office confirmed. George Kiriyama reports.

    "Four weeks ago, I received an email to my Senate account detailing a very explicit threat on my life," Yee said on Thursday. "The author of the email specifically stated that if I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol. He stated that he was a trained sniper and his email detailed certain weapons he possessed."

    At a news conference, Yee said this threat was unlike any he had ever received before.

    Bomb Making Chemicals Blown Up in Santa Clara Front Yard

    [BAY] Bomb Making Chemicals Blown Up in Santa Clara Front Yard
    A surveillance camera captured a bomb squad explosion in the front yard of a home. The man who lives there is accused of making threats against an unnamed elected official.

    "This threat was unlike any other I had ever received," Lee said. "It was not a racist rant on my ethnicity or culture, but instead it was very deliberate and specific. As a psychologist, I was deeply concerned by the calculating nature of this email."

    Yee said that he was worried about this particular threat because it was very detailed and laid out an exact plan for harm. He forwarded the email to the CHP and the Senate Sergeant of Arms.

    Yee's SB47 would prohibit the use of so-called bullet buttons and other devices that allow for swift reloading of military-style assault weapons.

    Yee was threatened in 2011, when he received a fax from an apparent Rush Limbaugh fan. The fax called him a Marxist and made some racist remarks about his Chinese heritage.

    On Wednesday, members of the CHP's Hazardous Device Detail, working with the  Santa Clara County Sheriff's bomb squad, found a "useable device" -- an  explosive -- at about 3 p.m. 

    "We keep turning over a page and finding something new every  time," CHP spokesman Sean Kennedy said.

    According to the San Jose Mercury News, Basham has no criminal history in Santa Clara County.

    His LinkedIn profile shows that he has owned his own company, Labrent, since 1997; and that he had worked as a senior product engineer at Logitech and and engineer/scientist at Hewlett-Packard. NBC Bay Area was not able to confirm those places of employment.

    But Basham's employment as vice president of woz.com about ten years ago for five months was confirmed by Wozniak himself.

    In an email to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday, Wozniak said he really liked Basham.

    "Everett is a brilliant engineer who has contributed insightful and creative ideas to me," Wozniak wrote. "Everett left ... primarily due to his disagreeing with the structure of the company under venture capital. I admire Everett's thinking very highly. I would classify Everett as distrustful of the government, as many of us are. He was a champion for the common person. Everett never spoke as a person who could or would commit a crime. I was honored to be at his wedding."

    Basham - who neighbors say liked to dress in military fatigues and adorn his home with security cameras - apparently has been under CHP surveillance for an unknown amount of time.

    Lee said he is very thankful to the CHP for being so aggressive in this case.

    "I want to make it crystal clear – these threats and any others will not deter me and my colleagues from addressing the critical issues surrounding gun violence," Lee said. "This case is very troubling and only further demonstrates the need to address this epidemic."

    Below is a freeze-frame of the detonation. The explosion is at the top of the photo. It can also be viewed in the video at the top of the page.

     NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.