PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey man is charged with threatening to kill a federal judge.
Prosecutors say he went as far as paying to get the judge’s home address.
As CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported Monday, Bill Kaetz appeared to be an angry man. The 56-year-old from Paramus was arrested Sunday, hours after sending what prosecutors say was a threatening email to a federal judge overseeing a civil case.
His sister wouldn’t go on camera, but said the frustration came from a feeling of being stonewalled.
“It’s been two years, or over two years that he’s been trying to resolve this case,” she said.
She told Rincon the case involves Kaetz’s daughter and tuition money. He’s been serving as his own lawyer. She said despite feelings of resentment, her brother is not the kind of guy who would go out and hurt anyone.
“I don’t think he meant physical harm. I think he meant judicial harm, not physical harm. Judicial harm in the court system,” she said.
But federal prosecutors say it wasn’t the first time. In court documents, they say Kaetz mailed the judge a letter on Sept. 24. A week later, he left her a voicemail, and then the email.
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In it he called the judge a traitor, saying that has “a death sentence.” He later went on to say “I will try my best not to harm the traitor judge,” but added a traitor needs to be dealt with.
Neighbors were left stunned by the allegations.
“I was just shocked, I was just shocked,” neighbor Karen Fleischman said. “Seeing a car here for four hours running, with people sitting inside and lights on. I got concerned.”
Prosecutors say Kaetz obtained the judge’s information through a paid internet-based service. Just last month, several lawmakers from New Jersey introduced federal legislation to block personal information of federal judges and their families. The effort was sparked after the July 19 attack at the home of federal Judge Esther Salas.
“The monster knew where I lived, and what church we attended, and had a complete dossier on me and my family,” Judge Salas said in a video posted on YouTube.
She lost her son in the attack. Her husband was shot three times but survived.
Monday afternoon, Kaetz made a virtual court appearance where he plead not guilty.
If convicted, Kaetz faces up to 10 years behind bars.
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