A man who called the office of Colorado’s top elections official to say that the “angel of death was coming for her in the name of Jesus Christ” was sentenced to two years of probation Monday.

Kirk Wertz, 52, was convicted last week of one count of retaliating against an elected official, a felony, for the June 30, 2022, call to the office of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

When a state trooper called Wertz back, he refused to answer whether he planned to harm Griswold, citing the First Amendment, and said, “And I’m an Oath Taker and an Oath Keeper and I owe you no explanation,” according to a court document.

During his sentencing hearing, Wertz denied being a member of the Oath Keepers, a far-right extremist group, calling it a “gross accusation” and calling his prosecution “malicious.” He said being an “Oath Taker” was a reference to him registering for possible military service when he turned 18 and the “Oath Keeper” was a reference to keeping an unspecified oath to God.

Judge Darryl Shockley said he did not believe Wertz planned to hurt Griswold. However, authorities had no choice but to view his threat as credible given his statements that he was an Oath Keeper and that he associated with militias, along with his refusal to say whether he intended to harm Griswold.

“They had to take it seriously,” Shockley said.

Griswold thanked the district attorney for bringing the case in a statement.

“It is imperative that we reject the normalization of violent threats directed towards secretaries of state, election officials, and election workers in Colorado and throughout the United States,” Griswold said. “We must continue to affirm that violence has no place in democracy.”