Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Threatening Federal Judge

A Florida man pleaded guilty Thursday to interstate transmission of a threat after he left five threatening voicemails for a federal judge.

Pensacola man Stephen Jay Thorn, 66, sent menacing voicemails to Orlando U.S. District Judge Wendy Berger because he was unhappy with a judicial opinion he’d read online, Reuters reported.

Thorn “left a vulgar, obscenity-laden voicemail threatening to harm the judge as well as members of the judge’s immediate family,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Thorn, a retired teacher, was upset that Berger had dismissed a lawsuit from pro-LGBTQ+ groups against the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, according to Reuters.

Thorn said he looked up where Berger and her family lived, and said in one of the voicemails that the judge was “very easy to track,” according to his plea agreement.

“This is for that stupid redneck, c**t, judge, [VICTIM 1]. You are a cruel person. You think that it’s okay for LGBTQ kids to be bullied, which is what that law is allowing, that’s what it’s saying, that they’re second-class citizens,” Thorn said in one of the messages, as rendered in the plea agreement. “Listen dumbass, you’re easy to track you down. You have 2 kids, [VICTIM 3] and [VICTIM 4], and you’re married to a man named [VICTIM 2], and your address is [redacted address] in [redacted city name].”

Thorn faces up to five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.