A 56-year-old man from New Jersey was arrested on Sunday, October 18, for threatening to injure a federal judge. William Kaetz, of Paramus, New Jersey, has been charged with threatening to assault and murder a federal judge and making an interstate communication containing a threat to injure a person.
Kaetz is set to make his initial appearance before US Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor on Monday afternoon through videoconference. If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the charge of making an interstate communication containing a threat to injure a person. Also, the charge of threatening to assault and murder a federal judge comes with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A maximum fine of $250,000 accompanies both the charges.
The criminal complaint alleges that Kaetz sent a communication to a federal district judge's house via US Mail on 24 September 2020. In it, he claimed to have a pending civil matter before the judge and urged the judge to hasten the case. On that, he was interviewed by investigators, following which Kaetz admitted to being worried about the standing of the pending lawsuit before the judge.
Kaetz also sought the disqualification of the judge and declared that he had obtained the home address of the judge using a paid internet-based service. He also stated that the prolonged delay of his pending case was not acceptable to him.
Less than a week later, on 30 September 2020, Kaetz sent a voicemail to the judge at his office. In the communication, he told the judge that the matter should have been decided upon weeks ago and that he wanted the judge to be removed from his case and the bench. He expressed that he would not accept a "no" for an answer.
Threatening the Judge's Life
In the mail, he asserted that the judge had been "avoiding and stonewalling" his case, and also called him a "traitor". He also declared that a traitor "has a death sentence," and that "there will come a time to take down those people that fail to do their job."
In addition to this, Kaetz also insisted that he had a motion that was pending before the judge and that he would attempt to "not to harm the traitor" judge. However, the "traitor" judge needed to be dealt with, Kaetz added. He also threatened to make the judge's home address public and pronounced: "God knows who has a grievance and what will happen after that."