|Re: 11/12/14 - New Haven Register: Man accused of threatening federal judges, Connecticut Governor Malloy|
Man accused of threatening federal judges, Connecticut Governor Malloy
POSTED: 11/12/14, 4:58 PM EST |
A 35-year-old former Connecticut man is accused of mailing threatening letters to 15 Connecticut residents, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, former Gov. John G. Rowland, two federal judges and prominent forensic scientist Henry C. Lee.
Garrett Santillo, now of Hollywood, Florida, was indicted Sept. 23 by a grand jury in New Haven with two counts of impeding, intimidating, influencing or retaliating against a federal judge by threats and seven counts of mailing threatening communications.
He pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Hartford federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez.
Santillo, formerly of Torrington, has previous convictions for stalking, sending threatening communications, harassment, mailing threatening communications and violating supervised release. His past offenses include sending a racist threat to a University of Connecticut student in 2000, according to court documents.
According to the indictment, on July 15, U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny received a letter at his Connecticut home via the U.S. Postal Service postmarked July 11. The letter was from Miami, but didn’t have a return address.
“You (sic) home addresses in Conn. are public information and if you mask your identity by name or appearance, we can still track you to wherever you go and will kill you if you don’t follow what this letter instructs,” Santillo allegedly wrote.
The letter demanded that Chatigny issue a ruling vindicating James Van de Velde in the 1998 slaying of Yale University student Suzanne Jovin.
Many of the letters said the person being threatened would be killed “painfully” by remote ways. The letters also demanded the recipient to not change his or her identity or mask his or her appearance in any way.
After the judge received the letter, about 14 other Connecticut residents, including Malloy, Lee, Rowland and a second federal judge, also received letters containing death threats, according to court documents.
The letters all were handwritten, mailed from the Miami area, didn’t have a return address, contained a demand for action and threatened death if the recipient failed to comply with the writer’s request, prosecutors said.
In the letter to Malloy, Santillo allegedly wrote, “we have all your family’s addresses and know your and their locations at all times from now on. (Malloy) will most definitely be killed for signing a bill ending the death penalty in CT.”
In the Malloy letter, prosecutors said Santillo demanded the death penalty be imposed on the Cheshire home invasion killers, among other criminals, by 2016 or “we will kill multiple people at random.”
He also threatened to kill state Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue, who imposed the death penalty on the Cheshire defendants, if the executions weren’t carried out by 2016, according to court documents.
In the letter to Lee, Santillo allegedly demanded that the forensic scientist solve the Jon Benet Ramseymurder case and ensure that the killers in that case and all others he has been involved in are incarcerated in “tough prisons.” The letter said Lee would have until Dec. 31, 2017, to comply with the demands or “you and others you know will be killed by ways no FBI or even God will be able to STOP!”
Santillo also allegedly sent a letter to Lisa Wilson-Foley and Brian Foley, who admitted to campaign finance violations in a case involving Rowland and Wilson-Foley’s congressional campaign. Prosecutors said he threatened to “painfully” kill them by “remote ways” if they didn’t accept a five-year prison sentence for their crimes. He said federal Judge Janet Bond Arterton would also be killed if they didn’t take that sentence, according court documents.
The letter to Rowland demanded he “accept a sentence of 6 full years in federal prison for your current 2014 charges and if the judge doesn’t do this both you and (Arterton) will be painfully killed,” according to court documents.
Other alleged threats included demanding a person donate money won in a lawsuit to charity or be killed and threatening to kill two people he accuses of abandoning and beating their children.
A threatening letter to President Barack Obama that had not been sent was found during the investigation, according to prosecutors.