Bainbridge man could face seven years in prison for threatening letters

NORWICH – Michael D. Richardson, 36, formerly of Bainbridge, appeared in court Tuesday, charged with making a terroristic threat, a class D felony. By the end of the day, both District Attorney Joseph A. McBride and Richardson’s attorney had rested their cases, and a verdict is still pending as of this morning’s deadline.

It is alleged that Richardson – in July of last year and with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping – placed threatening remarks in letters addressed to his estranged wife and mother-in-law stating his intent to perform acts of violence directed at a number of people including a judge, who, though not specifically named, is alleged to be recently retired Judge W. Howard Sullivan.

In the letter, which Richardson admitted to having written as well as mailed to his estranged wife and mother-in-law during his testimony Tuesday, Richardson describes how he wants to just “walk slowly up to the judge and place a .45 slug in between his eyes before jumping back into a stolen car.” The two letters contain a number of other remarks which could be construed as threatening as well, such as “these county offices are way too easy for me get my hands on.” Other people are also listed in the letters including employees of the county’s Child Services as well as a description of how Richardson could attain “high explosives” from an unspecified Newark, NJ, resident.

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