Feds: Blogger threatened judges
25 June 2009
Hal Turner with Nazis
The judge denied Turner bail, noting that FBI agents said they found 200 rounds of ammunition and 150 illegal hollow-point bullets while arresting him at his North Bergen home yesterday.
Earlier this week, the 47-year-old former radio personality was arraigned in Hartford on charges of advocating assaulting state legislators in Connecticut.
In the Chicago case, his postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of these judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location.
“We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period,” said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
According to the charging document, several lawsuits were filed challenging handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment entitles handguns at home for self-protection.
On June 2, 2009, the 7th Circuit approved a district court’s decision to dismiss the cases challenging the local handgun bans. The unanimous decision was written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
That same day, Turner titled a post on his homepage:
After describing the decision, a lengthy entry followed, which federal authorities included in their documents.
Turner noted that that it was the same 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that decided the case of Matt Hale, a white-supremacist who was imprisoned after being convicted of soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago.
The entry further noted that the same judge’s mother and husband were murdered by a gunman in her home. The posting then stated:
The next day, this post followed:
Below that headline, Turner listed the names, photos, phone numbers, work addresses and room numbers of the three judges involved in the handgun decision, as well as a photo of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago and a map.
The photo of the building had been modified to include arrows and a label referencing “Anti-truck bomb barriers,” according to the federal authorities.
28 July 2009
U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Ashman was holding a bond hearing for Turner earlier today when attorney Michael Orozco dropped the bombshell.
The judge nonetheless ordered that Turner remain held pending the outcome of an Aug. 10 continuation of the bond hearing.
Turner has pleaded not guilty in connection with a posting on his website that said the three judges "deserve to be killed" for upholding Chicago's ban on handguns.
Federal prosecutor William Hogan admitted that Turner had contact with the FBI but that he'd "never heard anything about" information on an assassination attempt.