Woman charged with harassing Sens. Durbin, Duckworth

VILLA PARK, IL - MARCH 21: Tammy Duckworth, Democratic candidate for the 6th congressional district in Illinois, campaigns with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (C) (D-IL) at a commuter train stop March 21, 2006 in Villa Park, Illinois. Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot who lost both legs in a 2004 rocket-propelled grenade attack in Iraq, is running for the House seat occupied by retiring GOP Rep. Henry Hyde. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BENTON, Ill.  — A southern Illinois woman is accused of making hundreds of nasty and sometimes obscene phone calls to U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that a federal grand jury indicted Jura L. Perkins last week on one felony count of repeated harassing communications.

A criminal complaint says Perkins made the calls to the Illinois senators from May 28 to Oct. 25, leaving voicemails in which she used vulgarities, accused them of being communists, and threatened Duckworth’s baby.

In one message, Perkins told Durbin: “I would be very happy if you died today.”

A judge set a Jan. 3 competency hearing. If found guilty, she could be fined up to $250,000 and imprisoned for up to two years.

Perkins’ defense attorney hasn’t responded to a request for comment.