CHICAGO (CN) – An Internet radio show host and blogger was arrested on criminal charges of threatening to murder three federal appeals court judges. Federal prosecutors say Hal Turner, 47, of New Jersey, said the judges “deserve to be killed” for dismissing a National Rifle Association challenge to a Chicago handgun ban.
Turner expressed “outrage” this month on his “Turner Radio Network” over the dismissal of the NRA lawsuit, which led FBI agents to discover incriminating blog posts on his Web page.
Turner is accused of posting the pictures, telephone numbers and work addresses of Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, Judge Richard Posner and Judge William Bauer, and stating that “their home addresses and maps will follow soon. Behold these devils.”
Turner “threatened to assault and murder three United States judges with intent to retaliate against such judges on account of the performance of official duties,” according to the criminal complaint.
It was not the first of Turner’s blog threats, an FBI agent said in an affidavit attached to the complaint. Turner also posted threats involving religion, the NAACP, sex, and the killing of Dr. George Tiller, the FBI agent said.
The affidavit cites this typical posting: “I don’t give a shit about sovereign immunity or the US Marshal Service that protects federal judges. I don’t give a shit about laws preventing retaliation against parties to a judicial proceeding. I don’t give a shit about US Attorneys bringing Indictments against me or securing court orders against me, because they won’t be worth the paper they’re written on.
“Know now: the days of politically-correct Judges and race-hustling, poverty pimps in the NAACP causing people’s deaths without consequence, are over. The course of action taken by the Judge and the NAACP will, at some point, endanger my life, the lives of my family and the lives of tens-of-thousands of other Hudson County residents. We have an absolute right to defend ourselves – and this time, we will.
“This time, if people die, the people responsible will either be brought to justice or justice will be brought to them.”
In January this year, after an Indiana appeals court ruled that “sexual misconduct with a minor requires that the victim actually be a minor,” Turner wrote: “folks in Indiana who have been planning … for our national cleansing of government filth – scheduled for the not-so-distant future – had better go out and buy more rope. It appears we have to add 2 more judges to a list of filth that needs to ‘swing,'” according to the affidavit.
His Web postings cited the murders of another judge’s family in Chicago, and said that “the 7th U.S. Circuit Court didn’t get the hint after those killings … it appears another lesson is needed,” according to the affidavit. Turner also allegedly said that “fucking federal judges never learn – but I hereby WARN one of them.”
The FBI said that in interview with Turner on June 23, he admitted that “he drafted and posted all of the entries” and said that “he did not intend to injure the judges but believed he would be criminally responsible if someone reading his website acted on what he posted.”
Turner is charged with threatening to assault or murder the three Chicago federal judges. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.