By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Monroe man gets two years for threatening cop
Placeholder Image

MADISON - A Monroe man who e-mailed death threats to a DeForest police officer was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to two years in prison for possessing a firearm while under a domestic abuse restraining order.

James R. Karls, 47, was a DeForest resident in 2007 when a restraining order prohibited him from harassing his ex-wife and possessing firearms for four years was issued in Dane County Circuit. In February of this year, Karls sent four e-mails to the DeForest officer who arrested him in 2007 for domestic disturbance that lead to the restraining order.

In one of the e-mails Karls sent the officer through the DeForest police website included a threat to "(expletive)" kill the officer. In another Karls stated "maybe I'll take my 357 and blow your (expletive) head off."

In February, authorities obtained a search warrant of a three-unit apartment building Karls owns at 9th Street and 12th Avenue in Monroe and recovered a .357 caliber revolver, about 200 rounds of ammunition, and a package from an ammunition seller in Texas addressed to Karls, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Rita Rumbelow.

Authorities also allegedly found a marijuana and a psilocybin mushroom growing operation there, which is prompted the U.S. Attorney's office to seek forfeiture of the property in a separate pending case.

The e-mails also lead to Karls being charged in Dane County with stalking the DeForest officer.

In court on Thursday, Karls' attorney Brian Brophy called Karls' e-mails "rants" and asked District Judge Barbara Crabb to sentence Karls to a halfway house where he could receive mental health treatment.

"The rants were ugly, the rants were horrible ... but all his troubles began and involved the failure of his marriage," Brophy told Crabb. "It's difficult to see anything but anger in (the e-mails) but what you can see is that someone wasn't listened to (in his divorce proceedings.)"

Karls wanted attention and like a child acting out, he got attention, Brophy said.

Rumbelow disagreed that the death threats were mere "rants."

Karls asked Crabb for leniency, saying his spent the last five months in prison where an inmate has threatened to sodomize him and he's seen another inmate severely beaten.

When Crabb told Karls that the threatening e-mails he sent his ex-wife and the officer "created a prison for them," Karls agreed saying he was "extremely sorry" and perhaps it was a form of justice to have been threatened in prison like he had threatened the officer.

However, Crabb rejected the leniency request and sentenced Karl at the top of the advisory guidelines saying his offense had aggravating factors that warranted a longer prison term.