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Michigan man allegedly challenged judge to duel, threatened decapitation

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

A Michigan man has been charged with a felony after he allegedly threatened an Otsego County judge on Facebook.

Jonathan Brisson, 32, of Vanderbilt has been charged with communicating a false threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony, after he allegedly used the social media website to threaten Otsego County Circuit Court Chief Judge Colin G. Hunter.

Prosecutors say Brisson posted to Facebook several times this month with direct threats toward Judge Hunter, including challenging the judge to a duel, threatening decapitation and taking action “leading the civil war against the children in office.”

When interviewed by deputies, Brisson admitted he wrote the posts and said he was angry the judge granted a personal protection order against him.

“Threats against public officials will not be tolerated by my office,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “The facts of this case include very direct and detailed threats that cross the line between free speech and criminal behavior.”

Brisson was arraigned by Judge Michael Cooper in Otsego County’s 87-A District Court on Monday. He was given a $50,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with Judge Hunter or the court building.

He also cannot possess firearms, alcohol or drugs, and if released, was ordered to undergo a community mental health evaluation prior to release.

A probable cause conference is set for 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 20.


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