Authorities: Man threatened judge, family in text messages, Facebook posts
An Aurora man has been charged with threatening a Kane County judge and his family, according to court records.
James L. Warren, 46, of the 600 block of Saddle Drive, was being held at the county jail on $500,000 bail on one felony count of threatening a public official, according to court records.
A warrant was issued last week and Warren was arrested last weekend. Warren is accused of sending text messages and making Facebook posts against Judge Rene Cruz and his family from June 26 through Aug. 14 that caused them to have “reasonable apprehension of future bodily harm,” according to court records.
Court documents did not specify the nature of the threats. Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said Warren had a child support case in front of Cruz in June.
Gengler said Cruz became aware of social media posts made June 26 and 28, reported it and the state’s attorney’s office authorized a felony charge.
“The exact threats are evidence to be introduced at trial and I can’t go into the exact nature of the threats other than the judge felt he was in danger and reported them,” Gengler wrote in an email.
In late 2012, Cruz was appointed as the first male Latino associate judge in county history.
Defense attorney David Camic said his client didn’t intend to threaten Cruz and was not a threat. “When the facts come out you will find he was not intending to make a threat and there was no danger,” Camic said.
If Warren posts $50,000 bond, he is to have no contact and stay 1,000 feet away from Cruz, his family and their residence, records show.
Warren does not have any previous felony arrests or convictions in Kane County, records show.
He is next due in court Friday and faces a punishment ranging from probation to up to five years in prison if convicted.