Santa Cruz County

One-time Santa Cruz resident admits she threatened to kill the president

Teddy Bear Paradise has history of sending threatening letters

HOUSTON, Texas. - A Texas woman named Teddy Bear Paradise, 56, has admitted to mailing a letter that threatened the life of President Barack Obama.

Prosecutors in Houston announced Friday that Paradise pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening the president. The woman was previously known as Denise O'Neal.

Prosecutors say she admitted to sending the letter addressed to Obama telling him she was traveling to Washington, D.C. to kill him. They say she later told two Secret Service agents of her intention and that if she couldn't commit the act herself, she would hire someone else to do it.

Paradise will remain in custody until her November sentencing. She faces up to five years in prison.

Paradise was arrested in Santa Cruz in 2012 as a fugitive from justice.

Paradise has a number of federal convictions, according to court records.

Federal charges were filed against her in North Carolina in January 2009, after she allegedly threatened to kill her probation officer. She pleaded guilty to that charge and was sentenced to 37 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. That's according to documents filed in federal court.

That sentence was supposed to run concurrently to an identical sentence for a federal charge of threatening the president in 2008. Paradise pleaded guilty in that case in 2010, admitting she mailed a letter from a post office in Hawaii that threatened to kill then-President George W. Bush in 2008. She pleaded guilty in that case in August 2010.

Paradise also was convicted in federal court in San Jose in 2005 for mailing threatening letters.

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