Veteran Hollywood camera operator Eugene Huelsman was sentenced to six months of house arrest on Thursday for threatening to “fu**ing kill” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) last year.
Huelsman — whose list of Hollywood credits includes work with Fox, Netflix, and NBC — pled guilty to a felony county of transmission of a threat in interstate commerce in October. Huelsman was reportedly nominated for seven primetime Emmys for his work as a camera operator.
The Hollywood camera operator left a message on Rep. Gaetz’s district office voicemail telling Gaetz to “watch his back” and to “watch his children,” just three days after the January 6 Capitol riots. Huelsman also threatened to “put a bullet” in Gaetz and his children and said he hoped the Florida representative would “die in a shallow grave.”
BREAKING: Eugene “Gene” Huelsman, a longtime camera operator for CNN, ABC, NBC, and others, has been ARRESTED for threatening to kill Matt Gaetz and his family.
Another man who recently threatened Rep. Gaetz is still free after the DOJ blocked USCP’s recommendation for arrest. pic.twitter.com/JbIe3LJAY5
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) October 27, 2021
“Tell [Gaetz] to watch his back, tell him to watch his children,” Huelsman reportedly said in the message. “I’m coming for him … I’m gonna fu**ing kill him. … I’m gonna put a bullet in you and I’m gonna put a bullet in one of your fu**ing kids too.”
Curtis Fallgatter, Huelsman’s defense attorney, confirmed that Huelsman “lost all of his employment” following his arrest last year.
Fallgatter argued that the January 6 Capitol riots inspired him to leave the threatening message on Gaetz’s voicemail three days after it happened.
Fallgatter told Politico:
The timing of it is exactly why he did it. You saw the news. You saw the people attacking the Capitol, and it’s just outrageous, and a lot of people got incensed and that’s what happened to Huelsman. … He saw all the supporting comments from Gaetz saying those are good people. … That’s what motivated the case.
During Huelsman’s sentencing, Fallgatter brought up Gaetz’s refusal to sit down with the January 6 committee and his recent comments about pro-abortion protesters being unattractive to explain “why Gaetz is such a magnet for people to get so upset with him.”
However, U.S. District Court Judge T. Kent Wetherell II “frankly wasn’t impressed with” his arguments, Fallgatter said.
The Secret Service previously investigated Huelsman for threatening a former president’s family members on social media, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release following his sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Jason Coody said after the sentencing:
The free exercise of speech is central to our democracy. However, the communication of threats of physical violence, in this case by an individual who had previously made and been investigated for similar threats of violence, is clearly unlawful. … Today’s sentence acknowledges the defendant’s repeated threats of violence and should serve as a significant deterrent to those who would threaten violence against others rather than engage in lawful debate.
In addition to a half-year of home confinement, Huelsman must pay a $10,000 fine and complete five years of probation.