Minneapolis man sentenced to 10 years for threatening to kill Hennepin Co. officials

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to 10 years behind bars for making threats against Hennepin County employees and illegally owning firearms, according to the Department of Justice.

Peter Robert Berry, 60, was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday after pleading guilty in June to one count of possessing a firearm as a felon and one count of interstate transmission of a threat. 

Prosecutors said the incident occurred in June 2021 after Berry failed to appear in court for a hearing related to charges of illegally owning firearms. The county issued an arrest warrant for Berry, which he became upset about, according to court documents. 

Court documents say Berry called and threatened four Hennepin County employees within a span of 5 days. First, Berry called an employee with the corrections department to ask questions about his court appearance, but he got angry and told the employee, "I have nothing to lose, I’ll shoot up the place, and it will be on your hands," the plea agreement reads. 

Berry placed a second phone call the same day and left a probation officer a voicemail demanding that somebody calls him back, "before I come back there and start killing everybody. I’m talking about seriously killing everybody," court documents read.

The following day, Berry called a third district employee and said he would "come down and kill everybody, all the judges, clerks, and deputies," according to the plea agreement. Berry was in Florida when he made the call.

Berry placed the fourth call a few days later while in Indiana and left a voicemail for a Hennepin County public defender working on his case. He threatened that people were going to die and stated he knew where the public defender lived. 

Law enforcement arrested Berry in Indiana. He allegedly told them that he was serious about the threats he made, and he was going to shoot up the court, court documents say. At the time of the arrest, Berry had two loaded firearms with him. 

The 60-year-old was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime, followed by three years of supervised release.