A convicted sexual offender was accused Friday of issuing death threats against the judge who put him behind bars.
The 34-year-old Provo man who has been serving time at Utah State Prison since 2005 allegedly wrote two letters to 4th District Judge Claudia Laycock in which he threatens to kill her if Laycock does not “exonerate” him.
The man was charged Friday with two counts of influencing, impeding or retaliating against a judge by threat, third degree felonies each punishable by up to five years in prison.
But according to court documents, the man is already serving what could be a life sentence.
He was convicted in 2005 of three counts of first-degree felony aggravated sex abuse of a child. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the charges, and was diagnosed with a psychosexual illness by the Utah State Hospital.
Laycock sentenced the man to indeterminate terms of five-years-to-life on each count and ordered them to run concurrently, according to court documents.
In Utah, a judge does not determine the precise amount of time a person spends in prison. After a judge issues their sentence, it falls to the Board of Pardons and Parole to determine when an offender will be released.
But the prisoner, it seems, blamed Laycock for his sentence.
Laycock received the first of two threatening letters from the defendant on Nov. 28. The second arrived about a month later. Both contained death threats.