A former nurse in South Florida admitted in federal court on Friday to making multiple threats against the life of Vice President Kamala Harris in a series of profanity-laden videos sent to her jailed husband, the Justice Department announced.
Niviane Petit Phelps, of Miami Gardens, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to six counts. The threats were traced to five 30-second videos—one of which showed Phelps saying she’d accepted $53,000 to carry out a “hit” against Harris—and two photographs she sent her husband in February. The 39-year-old mother of three is facing a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, the U.S. Secret Service filed a federal complaint in April stating that Phelps sent the videos to the Wakulla Correctional Institution, a state prison in Crawford, via JPay, an app that allows those in lockup to exchange media with non-incarcerated people. Federal agents who reviewed the media files described them as depicting Phelps “speaking angrily to the camera about her hatred for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, among others.”
“Kamala Harris you are going to die. Your days are numbered already. Someone paid me $53,000 just to fuck you up and I’m gonna take the, I’m gonna do the job, okay,” Phelps said in a video sent on Feb. 13.
The next day Phelps sent another video in which she said, “If I see you in the street, I’m gonna kill your ass Kamala Harris,” adding, “I’m going to the gun range, just for your ass, until you fuckin’ leave the chair,” in a second video from that day.
On Feb. 18, Phelps provided an even more detailed description of what she allegedly planned to do to the vice president.
“And fuckin’ Kamala Harris, I swear to God, today is your day — you’re gonna die. 50 days from today, mark this day down, stupid bitch, Kamala fuckin’ Harris vice president,” Phelps said. “You gonna fuckin’ die 50 days from today, I swear to fuckin’ God! Your day is . . .” The end of the quote is cut off because the video apparently ended.
Phelps then sent a photograph, dated Feb. 20, of herself at a shooting range holding a pistol next to a bullet-riddled target.
Phelps also appeared to actively take steps to follow through on her assassination plans, sending in an application on Feb. 22 for a concealed weapons permit, per the complaint.
USSS agents and detectives from the Miami-Dade Police Department attempted to interview Phelps at her Miami Gardens home in early March. They recognized Phelps as the person from the videos, some of which were filmed in the residence by her while others were filmed by her children. She also confirmed that that she planned on getting a gun in the near future.
Three days later, agents again spoke to Phelps, asking her if she thought her JPay messages would be seen by people other than her husband. She confirmed that she did believe others would view the messages, adding that she wanted to “let the justice system know what’s going on.”
Referring to her anger towards Harris, Phelps said she was “over it.”
The interview concluded with a secret service agent asking Phelps if she had plans to travel to Washington, D.C. and she said she did not.
“However, Phelps’s daughter, who was in the room during the interview, stated, ‘Didn’t we say we were going [to D.C.]?” the complaint said.
Agents also said Phelps “expressed how she believes Kamala Harris is not actually ‘Black’ and how during [the presidential] inauguration Kamala Harris disrespectfully put her hand on her clutch purse instead of the Bible,” which is false.
Phelps’s mother, Herodia Petit, told Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV in April that Phelps may have believed former President Donald Trump would have gotten her husband out of jail if he was elected to another term. U.S. presidents are not able to grant pardons to state inmates as that power rests with state governors.
The Jackson Memorial Medical Center, where Phelps was most recently employed as a licensed practical nurse at the Ambulatory Care Center, terminated her employment after more than 20 years.
Phelps is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19. Her attorney, Scott Saul, did not immediately respond to an email from Law&Crime, but he told the Miami Herald that his client was “just venting as she was going through a tumultuous time in her life.” He said she would not have actually followed through on her threats.
[image of V.P. Harris via Drew Angerer/Getty Image and Twitter]
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