SAWYER COUNTY -- A lengthy prison term was handed down in Sawyer County Circuit Court by the Hon. John Anderson for a man charged with threatening a Judge and the Judge’s family as well as two State Prosecutors.
Jerry True, of Radisson, WI appeared for a sentencing hearing on August 14, 2019 regarding his convictions at a jury trial that was held in July 2019.
True was charged with Class H Felony Threat to a Judge: Hon. John Yackel; Class H Felony Threats to Family of Judge: family of Judge Yackel; and 2 counts of Class H Felony Threats to a Prosecutor: Sawyer County District Attorney Bruce Poquette and Sawyer County Assistant District Attorney Aaron Marcoux.
The charges were filed in March 2018, following a series of incidents that culminated with a letter written by True in November 2017 while he was in custody in the Sawyer County Jail. The letter was intercepted by Jail staff in the course of jail operations. In the letter, True stated the following, according to the criminal complaint:
“Well they are sending me to prison for 2 years so I guess God is not so good as you all think so now I can go to prison then I will come out and hunt down Judge Yackel and Poquette and Marcoux and Katie Garrett and Jeff Shley. They ruined my life I’m taking theirs. I guess the Judge and DA is Racist and I am going to Blow up the Courthouse and the Jail. I am also going to Blow up the Dept, of Correct to. They want to give me 2 years they better give me life in Prison without parole. I am also going to Re-offend again and I have a List of who I’m going to do first. Judge Yackel’s family first then others. I plan on not coming home anytime Soon.”
This letter followed a series of incidents in which True made threats of harm and / or death including threats to the Sawyer County K9 unit which he posted on Facebook, stating:
“So f*** Sawyer county police department and law enforcement and the Wisconsin drug task force, come f*** with me I will put you in the ground my property is my place not [sic] back off or pay the price;”
Authorities also discovered that True was exchanging messages on Facebook with women in a Facebook group for single mothers. In the messages he used racial slurs, told one woman to kill herself, told another woman he would “make her into bar-b-que and stew”, stating that he had no problem killing people, because he “doesn’t care.” He also told another woman that he would “find her via her IP address on her computer, and would hunt down her and her family.”
Following these incidents, True was taken into custody. While in jail True threatened to kill another inmate, and threatened to punch another.
These incidents led to a revocation of True’s probation, resulting in him being sentenced to serve a prison term on a previous conviction for Failure to Comply With the Sex Offender Registry. It was while awaiting this sentencing that True wrote the letter containing the threats to the Judge, Judge’s family and the Prosecutors.
True was found guilty by Jury of all 4 charges filed against him. At the sentencing hearing on August 14, 2019, Judge Anderson heard from both defense counsel for True and from Assistant Attorney General Robert Kaiser as Special Prosecutor as well as hearing a statement from Judge Yackel and from a witness for the defense.
More Crime & Court Articles
The Court ordered a 10 year sentence on each of True’s convictions, to be served consecutively to each other; with 7 years of confinement on each count to be followed by 3 years of extended supervision on each count, for a total of 28 years of confinement in Wisconsin State Prison followed by 12 years of extended supervision. These sentences will begin upon the completion of True’s sentence he is serving on prior case; the Court did not grant any jail time credit to True.
Conditions of True’s extended supervision will prohibit him from having any contact with any of the victims, their families, or their property (True will not be allowed to come with 1 mile of the victim’s property). In addition, True will undergo any counseling as deemed appropriate by his Agent with the Department of Corrections, to include cognitive thinking program.