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Daniel James Murray, Man Sought For Threatening Obama, Arrested

PAUL FOY   06/ 6/09 05:23 PM ET   AP

Daniel James Murray

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities have arrested a man who allegedly told bank tellers while cleaning out his savings account in Utah that he was on a mission to kill President Barack Obama.

The Secret Service said Daniel James Murray, 36, was arrested Friday outside a casino in Laughlin, Nev., a gambling town 100 miles from Las Vegas on the Nevada-Arizona line.

He was charged Thursday in Salt Lake City with a federal count of conveying threats while talking to tellers last month at Zions First National Bank in St. George, Utah.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Bearnson said Murray was in federal custody in Nevada and likely will get a court date there Monday. Neither Bearnson nor the Secret Service would discuss whether Murray was considered to be a serious threat.

Charging documents say Murray, originally from Rexford, N.Y., is the registered owner of eight guns.

He was described by his father and former neighbors in Rexford as troubled but not dangerous, known for strolling down a street wearing a cape while talking to himself.

"He's sick. He's been sick for about 10 years," Michael Murray, his father, told the Times Union of Albany, N.Y.

In charging documents filed Thursday, the Secret Service said Daniel Murray made bizarre statements while opening _ and then closing within two weeks _ an $85,000 savings account.

First, he demanded to know if Zions First National Bank was solvent, saying, "I'm sure if citizens happen to lose their money, they will rise up and we could see killing and deaths," bank tellers told a Secret Service agent.

On May 27, as a teller counted out bills no larger than $50, Murray delivered a rambling discourse on the probability of economic and social disorder, ending with "We are on a mission to kill the president of the United States," a bank employee told the Secret Service.

The next day, Murray withdrew the remaining $72,000 and closed his account.

In Washington, Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said Murray offered no resistance when he was arrested at 7 p.m. Friday on a warrant in the parking lot of the Riverside Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nev. Wiley wouldn't offer any further details. It wasn't clear if Murray had a lawyer.

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Associated Press writer Kathleen Hennessey in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |