Henderson man pleads guilty to threatening federal judge

A Henderson man pleaded guilty Tuesday to making Facebook threats to kill a federal judge in Phoenix.

Jason Andre Willis, 41, who is in federal custody, pleaded guilty to a felony count of threatening interstate communications.

Senior U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson in Las Vegas set a June 28 sentencing date.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Crane Pomerantz told Dawson that Willis has agreed to serve a sentence of 366 days behind bars with no supervised release after prison.

Willis, who said he has been treated for mental illness, acknowledged in court that he threatened U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake of Phoenix on Nov. 11.

According to his plea agreement, Willis made several Facebook comments aimed at the judge, who once presided over a civil suit Willis filed in Phoenix.

In one comment, he is alleged to have said, “We will put a bomb around Phoenix, Arizona district court.” Another comment read, “Kill this judge? Neil Vincent Wake is a United States federal judge.” The latter post included biographical information about the judge and a copy of a court docket sheet for Willis’ 2004 discrimination case, the plea agreement states.

Records show Wake dismissed the discrimination suit in 2006 and has since instructed the clerk’s office not to accept anymore “improper and unintelligible” court papers from Willis.

“The defendant holds Judge Wake responsible for the dismissal of his lawsuit and made the posts knowing that the reader would view the communication as a true threat,” the plea agreement says. “The defendant acknowledges that a reasonable person reading his Facebook posts would have interpreted them as a threat.”

Willis has an arrest record dating to 1995 on numerous charges, including burglary, providing false information to police officers, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and second-degree murder, according to authorities.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Follow him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ

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