FRANKLIN (Somerset) — A judge released a trucker accused of threatening to kill Gov. Phil Murphy. reported that Robert Ewans, 47, was accused of making the threat after getting frustrated with an unemployment claim.

Thousands of New Jersey residents who filed with the state Department of Labor during the pandemic ran into problems with their claim. It was compounded by not being able to get through to an agent on the phone or to get responses to email.

Officials said Ewans threatened to "put a bullet through the governor's head" in conversation with a lawmaker who was trying to help him, according to

He also told the office that "the governor is the enemy" and that "we're at war," Deputy Attorney General Heather Hauselbe said during Ewans' detention hearing.

The judge cited Ewans' "pristine" record as reason to release him despite his "somewhat aberrational conduct" during a politically polarized time.

All state offices are scheduled to reopen to the public on Monday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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