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Press Release

Iowa Inmate Charged with Threatening Federal Judge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

DAVENPORT, Iowa – On April 5, 2018, a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Iowa charged Matthew James Howard with threats against a federal judge and mailing a threatening communication, announced United States Attorney Marc Krickbaum. This case is being prosecuted by Southern District of Iowa Assistant United States Attorney Melisa Zaehringer, who has been designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney General, based on the recusal of the Northern District of Iowa United States Attorney’s Office.

While incarcerated at the Anamosa State Penitentiary, the Indictment alleges that on or about November 30, 2017, Howard wrote and mailed a letter through the United States Postal Service that threatened to kill Judge Linda R. Reade, a United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Iowa. If convicted, Howard could face up to ten years imprisonment for each of the charged counts.

This matter is being investigated by the United States Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

The public is reminded that an Indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless he is proven guilty.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated April 9, 2018