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Blogger Hal Turner accused of death threats against judges

  • Story Highlights
  • Turner is an Internet radio talk-show host based in New Jersey
  • He is accused of threatening judges of 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Judges recently upheld a ban on handguns in Chicago, Illinois
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(CNN) -- A blogger and Internet radio talk-show host in New Jersey was arrested Wednesday for allegedly threatening to kill three federal appeals court judges in Chicago, Illinois.

The judges had recently upheld a ban on handguns in Chicago and suburban Oak Park.

A federal complaint filed in Chicago said that Hal Turner, 47, had posted "outrage" on his Web site over the handgun decision by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to the complaint, Turner described the court decision in a June 2 posting and said, "Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed."

The postings included photos, contact information and room numbers of the judges along with a picture and map of the building in which they work, the complaint said.

"We take threats to federal judges very seriously. Period," said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

FBI agents, carrying a search warrant, arrested Turner at his home in North Bergen, New Jersey. He was charged with threatening to assault and kill the three judges with intent to retaliate against them for performing official duties, the complaint said.

Turner is scheduled to make a court appearance Thursday in federal district court in Newark.

Turner has been known to post the names and home addresses of judges he believes are on the wrong side of conservative issues, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups.

The center calls Turner's threats "legendary."

The center's Web site posts some examples. About former President George W. Bush, Turner once said: "A well-placed bullet can solve a lot of problems," according to the center's Web site.

Turner has also written that "we need to start SHOOTING AND KILLING Mexicans as they cross the border" and has argued that killing certain federal judges "may be illegal, but it wouldn't be wrong," according to the center's site.

All About Gun ControlSouthern Poverty Law Center

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