KALISPELL, Mont. — A man who refuses to register as a sex offender because he says he’s innocent has been arrested for sending letters to law enforcement agencies threatening to kill Flathead County judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers to draw attention to the injustices he says he has suffered, prosecutors said.
Dale Michael Hanson was arrested on Aug. 24 and charged the next day with felony intimidation. He has been in hiding for years. A 2009 arrest warrant charges him with failing to register as a sex offender. His bail was set at $500,000. He did not enter a plea and is scheduled to be arraigned in District Court on Sept. 22.
Public defender Sean Hinchey said he met with Hanson to review the charges, but he wasn’t sure what his client’s approach will be.
Hanson, 65, served 10 years in prison for a 1995 sexual assault on his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son. He has continued to challenge his conviction, arguing that the boy could have been coached by his mother, who had left voicemails on Hanson’s answering machine threatening to get back at him for allegedly being involved with other women. The voicemails were not admitted into evidence during Hanson’s trial.
His legal team also claimed a now-deceased sheriff’s deputy who investigated the case advised some people who might have testified on Hanson’s behalf to stay away until after the trial.
However, his appeal was dismissed when he failed to show up for three scheduled depositions because he faced arrest due to the 2009 warrant. The Supreme Court upheld the dismissal.
The intimidation charge alleges Hanson send a letter to the U.S. Marshal’s Service on Aug. 3 warning them that “there are going to be a bunch of dead people if your agency does not intervene on my behalf!”
He said he has been fighting the “Nazi bastards of Flathead County” for 22 years for crimes he said he did not commit and that he was going to “start killing people to get public attention.”
The letter included a list of 18 people against whom he sought to get revenge including the victim, judges, several attorneys and a counselor.
The Flathead County sheriff’s office received a similar letter in which Hanson reportedly said he would kill as many law enforcement officers as he could before they kill him.
“They may take my life, but they’ll never take my freedom again!”