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Press Release

Festus Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Mailing Threatening Communications

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


Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that William J. Mabie, 56, of Festus, Missouri, was sentenced Friday, April 3, 2015, in federal district court in East St. Louis, following his conviction on December 11, 2014, on three counts of Mailing Threatening Communications.

Evidence showed that Mabie, who had been previously convicted of similar crimes in the Eastern District of Missouri, mailed three threatening letters to persons within the Southern District of Illinois. Mabie wrote two of the threatening letters in 2012 while he was incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lompoc, California; he wrote the third threatening letter while he was incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado.

Mabie sent one of the letters to the Sheriff of Bond County, Illinois, in 2012; Mabie sent the other two letters to the wife of a policeman in 2012 and 2013.

At the times Mabie sent the letters, he was serving an 88-month prison sentence for an earlier conviction in the Eastern District of Missouri in 2010. The 2010 conviction resulted in part from a threatening communication concerning the same policeman whose wife received two of the letters charged in the Southern District of Illinois.

The prosecution presented evidence that Mabie had written numerous threatening letters to witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and the judge who had presided over his

2010 case in the Eastern District of Missouri. The prosecution also presented evidence that Mabie had recently spit upon a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the East St. Louis courthouse, following a court hearing on March 12, 2015.

At the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Michael J. Reagan noted that Mabie had a long history of making threats, having six prior convictions involving making threats to various people. The judge found that Mabie is capable of carrying out his threats upon release from prison; hence, the judge indicated that a lengthy sentence was appropriate in this case.

The judge also found many of Mabie’s letters to others, and his spitting on the Deputy Marshal, to be outrageous and malicious. The judge indicated that, by his sentence, he needed to stop Mabie from further crime and from harming the public. The judge noted that prior punishment had not deterred Mabie; therefore, a lengthy sentence was appropriate.

The judge imposed a total sentence of 15 years – that is, five years on each count, to run consecutively to each other, and consecutive to the sentence he is still serving on the Eastern District of Missouri case. The judge stated that he had never previously imposed such a sentence; the judge called it a "breathtaking sentence for breathtaking conduct." The judge also imposed a $15,000 fine, a $300 special assessment, and a 3-year term of Supervised Release, to run concurrently with the term of Supervised Release to which Mabie is subject in the Eastern District of Missouri.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Drucker. The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service.

Updated April 6, 2015