Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Rambling Defense in Judge-Threatening Case

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - An allegedly bipolar woman accused of threatening to kill a federal judge got a second shot on the witness stand before prosecutors rested their case Wednesday.

Regina Lewis is charged with calling the court chambers in Manhattan this past July after U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed a pro se lawsuit she filed and telling Kaplan's clerk she had a "fucking bullet with his [Kaplan's'] name on it."

The defense opened Tuesday with attorney Lloyd Epstein saying that Lewis was bipolar and lacked any intent to actually harm Kaplan.

Lewis took the stand in her own defense afterward, and U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan granted her request for another turn today.

"I may regret this," Cogan said. "I want to get you every chance to be heard."

Despite a recommendation from Epstein against such testimony, after the two consulted in private, Lewis took the stand in prison scrubs and rambled about her 80 pro se lawsuits.

"They fail me on purpose," Lewis said of mental-health experts who testified that she had bipolar disorder. "They fail me so the case will be thrown out."

Cogan patiently cut her off.

Lewis made repeated outbursts during Epstein's closing arguments, claiming NBC was out to get her.

Citing her respect for the judge at one point, Lewis noted, "I'm not normally this calm."

Cogan responded, "I exchange my respect for your respect."

The judge reserved decision on the matter Wednesday.

Lewis allegedly called Kaplan's chambers and, along with the threat of a bullet, said that he was "white trash" and a homosexual before hanging up. A handful of U.S. marshals arrested her at her apartment on July 26; she was hiding between a couch and a wall, one of those officers testified.

But Epstein said his client is "all bark and no bite," a "flea with a very foul mouth."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.