Michigan man sentenced after threatening judge through emails

A Michigan man who threatened a judge and harassed court staff was found guilty and sentenced Monday, Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

Ryan King, of Benzonia, received two years of probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence, which he would serve if he failed to successfully complete probation. 

According to police, Ryan Welsh King, 45, of Benzonia, "was loud, argumentative, and vulgar" when he visited the 19th Circuit Court in Manistee in September 2021.

King was told to leave the court. Police say he then sent emails to staff despite being told to stop.

Authorities say he sent an email with a "veiled death threat" in April 2022, which led to him being arrested and charged with malicious use of telecommunications service and using a computer to commit a crime. 

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"Threatening public officials is unacceptable," Nessel said. "We’re pleased that the jury and Judge (John) Middlebrook recognized terroristic threats are not protected under the First Amendment and pose a significant danger to our democracy. My department is committed to holding those who commit these crimes accountable."