Home

Boehner Bartender Found Not Guilty

The Ohio bartender who threatened Boehner was found not guilty by reason of insanity. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Ohio bartender accused of threatening to kill Speaker John A. Boehner by poisoning his wine was found not guilty by reason of insanity.  

Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, known to patrons as “Bartender Mike,” will remain in custody and undergo more mental health testing before returning to federal court on Aug. 21. According to documents from the 55-minute hearing in Cincinnati on Monday, a forensic report establishes that Hoyt is not guilty of threatening the Ohio Republican's life "only by reason of insanity."  

He was arrested on Oct. 29 by police in Deer Park, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb outside of Boehner’s district, approximately a week after losing his job at the Wetherington Golf and Country Club in West Chester, Ohio. A grand jury indicted Hoyt in January. He was then sent to a federal medical center for evaluation and treatment.  

Though Hoyt was found competent to stand trial in April, U.S. Attorney Carter M. Stewart and defense attorneys agreed to the insanity plea.  

In a January interview with the Dayton Journal News , Boehner made rare public comments about the threat, telling the paper it hit too close to home. Hoyt attracted police attention when he sent threatening emails to Boehner's wife. During a subsequent search of his house, Capitol Police and FBI recovered an SKS Assault Rifle magazine, loose rounds, two boxes of ammunition and speed loader.  

“It’s at least a monthly occurrence that something happens,” Boehner told the paper, referring to threats on his life. “It’s one thing when you get some threat a thousand miles away, it’s another when you live a few doors from the club.”  

Correction 6:58 p.m. An earlier version of this post misspelled Carter M. Stewart's name.