NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A northern New Jersey woman who is accused of mailing threatening letters to the U.S. Supreme Court and others made her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 50-year-old Karen Waller at her home in Irvington earlier Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Waller mailed more than 50 threatening letters in May and June to the court, Rutgers University, Woodbridge Town Hall, Millburn police and an insurance company. Authorities say the letters threatened to injure and kill unspecified people.
Waller is charged with one count of mailing threatening communications and made an initial appearance in Newark federal court.
The court-appointed defense attorney asked for Waller to be released on her own recognizance, telling the judge the letters are not the work of a sophisticated criminal.
But the judge said there is a serious question of safety and denied bail.
LINK: Read The Complaint (pdf)
All sides agreed the woman seems to have mental health issues, WCBS 880′s Jim Smith reported.
A man who described himself as a friend of Waller’s said “she’s not in her right mind” and deserves to stay behind bars, Smith reported.
The charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to authorities.
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