MIAMI, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– A St. Lucie County man who made death threats to a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Florida was sentenced today in Tampa, Florida to five years' imprisonment.
The sentence of 73-year-old Lawrence F. Curtin follows his conviction after a two-day trial in November 2021. In that trial, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alejandra L. López and Will Rosenzweig of the Southern District of Florida presented evidence that in August 2020, Curtin filed written objections to a U.S. Magistrate Judge's report recommending dismissal of Curtin's civil lawsuit. In the written objections that he filed in court, Curtin listed a link to a video he had posted on YouTube, "Road to Glory," which showed a younger Curtin at a church service, shaking the hand of a pastor, who was a member of a minority group. Curtin stated in the written objections that the video made clear that he was threatening the Judge with "death and bodily harm" and that shaking the hand of the pastor further emphasized his threat to the Judge, a member of the same minority group.
The evidence also showed that the inclusion of personal details about the Judge in the written objections and other court filings were meant to threaten the Judge since Curtin had never had an in-person hearing with the Judge and had to have researched the Judge to obtain the information. Moreover, the evidence showed that Curtin's anger at the Judge was compounded by the Judge's previous recommendations to dismiss four of his earlier-filed civil lawsuits. At sentencing, it was also shown that Curtin had engaged in a pattern of threatening federal and state judges with seriously bodily injury or death since 2005.
United States District Court Judge William F. Jung of the Middle District of Florida imposed the sentence, which also includes a supervised release term of three years following incarceration.
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