RICHMOND, Va. – A Virginia man charged with threatening to decapitate a U.S. consular official has been acquitted.
A Federal Court judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors failed to prove that Phuoung Le of Richmond really intended to harm U.S. Consular Chief Charles Bennett in Vietnam.
Le mailed a letter to Congressman Bobby Scott's office threatening to cut off Bennett's head. Le was angry because a visa application for his wife in Vietnam was rejected. The letter was also smeared with Le's blood.
A psychiatrist who is an expert in Vietnamese culture testified that the decapitation remark was just a way of saying something had to be done to stop Bennett from lying. He said the blood was intended to convey the seriousness and truthfulness of the letter.