Lawyers say a Tennessee man will testify in his own defense against charges he threatened an Ohio congressman during the health care debate.
During Tuesday's opening statements in Akron, defense attorneys denied James Schmidlin threatened to burn down the home of U.S. Rep. John Boccieri. They said the 40-year-old Cleveland, Tenn., man did call the Democratic lawmaker's office in March, but to express a point of view about the health care bill.
The Canton Repository reports prosecutors contend Schmidlin said more than once he'd burn Boccieri's house.
Boccieri switched positions and voted for the Obama bill.
Schmidlin has pleaded not guilty to federal charges carrying a maximum of more than 10 years in prison if convicted.