SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas — A Texas man has been sentenced to five years in prison after a jury found him guilty of sending threatening Facebook messages to a judge.

The Sulphur Springs News-Telegram reported that Robert Alan Hawkins was found guilty and sentenced by a visiting judge this week. Hawkins was charged after sending several threatening Facebook messages to District Judge Eddie Northcutt in December 2016 and January 2017 including a picture of ISIS soldiers about to execute hostages and a comment that this was the “next step.”

Hawkins had previously sent letters to Northcutt saying the judge and Hopkins County, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Dallas, were corrupt.

Hawkins said he sent the messages to force the county to arrest him so he could expose the corruption during his trial.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.