Tuesday, July 28, 2009
LET THERE BE NO DOUBT
TO THE ARTICLE
Radio host denies threatening federal judges
July 28, 2009 12:59 PM | 3 Comments
An Internet radio host pleaded not guilty today to threatening to kill three federal appellate judges in Chicago and then sought his release from custody, saying he has been an informant for the FBI.
Hal Turner, who was arrested last month at his home in New Jersey, shook his head after being handed a copy of the indictment.
Turner is charged with calling for appellate judges Frank Easterbrook, William Bauer and Richard Posner to be killed after they affirmed a lower court decision June 2 to dismiss challenges to Chicago's handgun ban.
Turner allegedly used his web site to put out the message that all three were "cunning, ruthless, untrustworthy, disloyal, unpatriotic, deceitful scum."
"Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed," he allegedly said.
A federal judge from Louisiana will be brought in to preside over the case.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Ashman gave Turner 10 days to subpoena an FBI agent who Turner contends acted as his handler as he supplied the government with information. Turner's lawyer, Michael Orozco, said Turner prevented military equipment from being sold on the Internet and even tipped off the U.S. Marshal Service to a threat against President Barack Obama.
"So you're saying he's an American hero," Ashman said somewhat sarcastically.
As for the charges, Orozco said Turner was only giving his opinion on the judges' ruling and that he has a Constitutional right to free speech.
Assistant U.S. Atty. William Hogan said a magistrate judge in New Jersey had already ordered Turner detained before he was sent to Chicago, finding that he was a threat to the community. He has continued to air threatening radio messages on the Internet since his arrest, including a call placed from custody in New Jersey, Hogan said.
Hogan said Turner may have had some contact with the FBI as an informant but that it was quite some time ago. He said he had no idea about any action Turner supposedly took to thwart an attack on the president.
-- Jeff Coen
Posted by Nikki at 7/28/2009 04:05:00 PM