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(KSL News) Not guilty. That was the plea today from an aircraft mechanic accused of threatening to blow up Hill Air Force Base and take six people in Idaho hostage.
Today in court we learned those six people are William Stiffler's estranged wife and five children in Idaho.
Stiffler's attorney, Bob Steele, says his client has a history of suffering from mental health issues and was struggling to try to keep his family together.
"Starting in July, a series of family stresses, his family falling apart. His response to it escalating in terms of trying to make contact with his wife. The content of that contact got erratic and strange, ending up with these e-mails to Hill Air Force Base," Steele explained.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Benson said, "I couldn't get into his head on that kind of a thing. We know that these were very threatening communications, and based on that we've alleged what's contained in the indictment."
If convicted Stiffler faces up to 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.