Stephen Espalin has been sentenced to prison for threatening to kill President Obama, which he did in order to get free medical care in jail. This is the second time that Espalin has pulled this stunt.
Espalin was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after he threatened the life of President George W. Bush in 2001 to get free health care behind bars.
While being treated for heart attack-like symptoms at a Boca Raton, Florida hospital in December 2010, Espalin used fake names and lied about having health insurance, reports the Sun-Sentinel.
The hospital was about to kick him out when Espalin falsely claimed that he shipped a bomb to the White House only hours earlier.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Robin Rosen-Evans told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp last week that Espalin “had personally no intent and clearly had no ability to carry out a threat against the president.”
Even though he was clearly being played by the homeless man, Judge Ryskamp sentenced Espalin to four years in prison, which was exactly what Espalin had hoped for. Judge Ryskamp made no statement admitting that he had been duped.
Espalin told the Sun-Sentinel: “I would have no intent to hurt the president. I realize it wasn’t the right thing to do. I uttered those words knowing the [federal agents] would come and take care of me.”
Espalin's attorney says the homeless man will soon undergo heart surgery from prison, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
Espalin has already been given a wheelchair and chemotherapy behind bars, treatment that he never would have been able to afford without health insurance.
For his fake threats, Espalin is reaping the benefits of free healthcare, which law-abiding Americans are not entitled to.
Espalin is not the only person to use prison time to get free medical care. In 2011, a North Carolina man entered a bank and demanded a single dollar bill so he could be jailed and receive free medical treatment for his back and foot problems.