Home>Highlight>Man who sent threatening letters to federal judge gets 16 months in prison

William Kaetz.

Man who sent threatening letters to federal judge gets 16 months in prison

By David Wildstein, August 03 2021 10:09 am

A Paramus man arrested last year for threatening a federal judge was sentenced to 16 months in prison on Monday

William Kaetz, 57, was accused of sending letters and emails that repeated called a U.S. District Court Judge a “traitor” and threatened to release a home address.

“[Judge-I] is a Traitor and that has a death sentence, I would rather use the pen than the sword, but… there will come a time to take down those people that fail to do their job …. and that will be people like the traitor [Judge-I],” Kaetz said in an Oct. 18 email, according to prosecutors.

The New Jersey Globe has identified the judge in question but is withholding their name over privacy and safety concerns.  Court records have redacted the judge’s name.

The incident came months after a gunman posing as a mailman attempted to assassinate U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, killing the judge’s son and critically wounding her husband.

New Jersey’s state and federal lawmakers have introduced bills that would criminalize the release of judges’ personal information and shield such information from disclosure.

“I will try my best not to harm the traitor Judge [Judge-I] but like I said, [Judge-I] is a traitor and needs to be delt [sic] with,” Kaetz said.

The Paramus resident sought to contact the judge twice before sending the Oct. 18 email. On Sept. 24, he sent a letter to the judge’s home, prompting questioning from authorities. Kaetz told investigators he wanted the judge to recuse from the case, further expressing anger with delays to his case.

On Sept. 30, he left a voicemail at the judge’s office again expressing anger with court delays and demanding the judge recuse and be removed from the bench.

A few weeks later, he was threatening to release the judge’s home address.

“The traitor Judge [Judge-I] lives at [FULL ADDRESS REDACTED],” Kaetz said in the Oct. 18 email, according to authorities. “Stop by and ask [Judge-I] why [Judge-I] is stonewalling my case. [Judge-I’s] home address will become public knowledge very soon and God knows who has a grievance and what will happen after that.”

In a plea agreement, Kaetz withdrew his not guilty plea on Monday and admitted to one count of making restricting personal information publicly available.

The court recommended that Kaetz be transferred to the Essex County Correction facility “or somewhere close to Paramus” and gave him credit for the 9 months he’s already served awaiting disposition of the charges.

Kaetz must spend 180 days on home detention with an electronic monitoring system.  He is not permitted to have any contact with the victim or a member of the victim’s family.  He is also banned from researching the victim and family members on the Internet.

The judge ordered the FBI to destroy sixteen rounds of ammunition seized from his home last October, and that a rifle also removed from the Paramus home will be released to one of Kaetz’s relatives.

Additionally, Kaetz will face three years of supervised release and pay a $5,000 fine.

The case against Kaetz was moved to another state since other judges in the District of New Jersey were serving with the victim.

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