Judge Denies Bail in Judicial Threat Case

     (CN) – A federal judge in New Jersey denied bail to a radio host who allegedly threatened to kill three federal judges in Chicago. Harold “Hal” Turner, 47, was charged with threatening the judges and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

     U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp rejected a tentative agreement that would have allowed Turner to be released on a $200,000 bond and ordered him to be transferred to Illinois.
     Turner wrote that the three judges “deserve to be killed” for failing to overturn handgun bans, provided a map to the Chicago courthouse where the judges are based and promised to add a map to the judges’ homes on his blog, court papers state.
     Prosecutors say the blog entry also referred to the 2005 murders of the mother and husband of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow. Matt Hale, a white supremacist, was convicted in 2004 of plotting to have Lefkow killed after she ruled against his organization.
     Turner allegedly wrote, “Apparently, the 7th U.S. Circuit court didn’t get the hint after those killings. It appears another lesson is needed.”
     Turner was questioned in 2005, but was not charged in the Lefkow murders. He also faces a charge of encouraging violence against two Connecticut legislators over Catholic parish finances.
     Michael Orozco, an attorney representing Turner, called the case a First Amendment issue and told the Associated Press that he planned to revisit the bail issue as early as Friday.

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