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Californian Convicted of Threatening Judges

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Palmdale man was convicted of threatening to murder or assault two federal judges. A federal jury convicted Terry Lee Steward, 45, on Friday after a two-day trial.

Steward was convicted of four counts of threatening a federal official. Each count is punishable by up to 6 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Steward sued the Veterans Administration in 2003 for medical malpractice, and U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz awarded him $75,000 after a bench trial in 2006.

Steward then sued the VA again - and sued Judge Matz - claiming that his rights had been violated in the trial in which he was awarded $75,000. His second lawsuit was assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Oswald Parada.

After Steward's second complaint was dismissed without prejudice, he refiled it, "requesting that Judge Parada reassign the case to Judge Matz to give Judge Matz a chance to atone and referring to the killing and death of Judge Parada and Judge Matz," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in announcing the verdict.

Steward was arrested in November 2006 and convicted last Friday. He will be sentenced on Feb. 3, 2011.

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