BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A Baton Rouge man who pleaded guilty to threatening to murder former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten — as well as members of Letten's family — has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/NwN8z9 ) Gerald P. Estrade, 57, will be transferred to a federal prison in the next few weeks to serve his sentence.
"All threats against public officials will be thoroughly investigated and vigorously prosecuted by this office to the full extent of the law," U.S. Attorney Walt Green said in a news release. "Our public officials should not have to live in fear for doing their jobs."
Estrade also faced fines totaling as much as $250,000, but Green said a fine was never likely since Estrade has no money.
U.S. District Judge James Brady handed down the sentence, which included a recommendation that Estrade get mental help. Brady had previously found Estrade competent to stand trial after having him examined by mental health experts.
Letten attended Tuesday's sentencing hearing, but didn't testify in person, opting to submit a written statement instead, Green said.
Letten did not return a phone message left late Tuesday seeking comment.
"I am extremely grateful to U.S. Attorney Walt Green, his great staff and certainly the men and women of the FBI," Letten said in November. "It's obvious to all of us that this individual, Gerald Estrade, is a dangerous individual."
Brady ordered Estrade to be examined by mental health experts prior to a competency hearing. In late April, the judge ruled Estrade was mentally competent to stand trial.
Estrade told agents that he had threatened Letten's life years earlier, 2005 or 2006, when he was a state prison inmate, in a letter he'd written to the FBI.
Green said Estrade blamed Letten for subsequent problems he suffered in state prison as a result of that letter.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com