Man Who Threatened Sen. Leland Yee May Face Up to a Decade in Prison

A man who pleaded guilty to threatening state Sen. Leland Yee last year and was found in possession of bombs and assault weapons at his Santa Clara home is facing up to 10 years in prison, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Everett Fred Basham, 46, has admitted to seven felony and two misdemeanor charges in a case that started when he wrote emails to Yee in January 2013 threatening to assassinate him, Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci said.

Basham has been convicted of making a criminal threat against Yee, possessing a destructive device, possessing materials to make a destructive device, forging a government identification card and three counts of possessing an assault rifle, Kianerci said.

He is also facing sentencing on two misdemeanor counts he pled guilty to of possessing a loaded firearm and possessing a loaded firearm inside a vehicle.

Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, who has been suspended from his District 8 senate seat since his indictment in April on federal corruption charges, said in February 2013 that Basham wrote death threats to him over Yee’s support for new state laws to control guns.

Basham informed Yee he was “a trained sniper” with “39 confirmed kills in Afghanistan” and warned “Don’t make me get to 40.”

He also detailed weapons in his possession and, according to Yee, said that “If I did not cease our legislative efforts to stop gun violence that he would assassinate me in or around the Capitol.”

The threats to Yee culminated in a raid of Basham’s home in Santa Clara on Feb. 12, 2013 by the California Highway Patrol’s SWAT unit that would find two bombs, bomb-making materials, three illegal assault weapons with detachable magazines, a forged driver’s license and a loaded 9mm pistol in his car.

The CHP’s Hazardous Device Detail was notified and worked with the county sheriff’s bomb squad to dig two holes in Basham’s front yard, line them with sand bags and detonate a charge to destroy one of the suspected bombs there.

Basham, who suffers from scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, and sleep apnea, is currently undergoing a 90-day medical examination at San Quentin State Prison conducted by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Kianerci said.

The defendant’s lawyer has asked for the assessment so that the corrections department could prepare a report about the medical care Basham would need before the judge decides to sentence him to county jail or state prison, the prosecutor said.

The district attorney’s office has asked the Superior Court judge to allow it to subpoena Basham’s medical records so that a full picture of the man’s health issues would be made available prior to sentencing, Kianerci said.

While Basham could be sentenced to as many as 10 years on the crimes he pleaded guilty to, the county Probation Department has recommended a penalty of eight years of incarceration, Kianerci said.

Basham also could be sentenced to as little as one year in county jail and even to probation, she said.

Yee, 65, based on his indictment in federal court in San Francisco, is charged with six counts of scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services by allegedly soliciting and taking campaign contributions in exchange for political favors for the purported donors, who were in fact undercover FBI agents.

He is also charged with conspiring to engage in gun trafficking without a license after agreeing with an undercover FBI agent posing as a Mafia member to buy $2 million in weapons from an arms dealer in the Philippines.

Yee, who was suspended from his senate seat by a vote of the state senate in light of the criminal charges, pleaded not guilty to the allegations on April 8.

Jeff Burbank, Bay City News

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