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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TDCJ Inmate Sentenced To Federal Prison For Threatening Federal Judge

HOUSTON - George Yarbrough, 43, a former resident of Houston, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of mailing a threatening communication, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Yarbrough a 21-month sentence. Yarbrough’s sentence was ordered to being after he finishes serving his current sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

As part of his plea, Yarbrough admitted that on or about Sept. 26, 2014, he knowingly mailed a communication threatening to kill a specific federal judge in Houston. The communication was received at the Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse at 515 Rusk St. in Houston and had a return address implicating Yarbrough, who was an inmate serving a sentence within TDCJ.

In the letter, Yarbrough warned the judge that he intended to kill him as soon as he got out of TDCJ. Yarbrough claimed the judge had ruined Yarbrough’s life and that he had lost of his loved ones. Yarbrough repeated the threat throughout the letter with a final note that “…I’m coming to get you and your family!”

Yarbrough was interviewed on two occasions and never denied sending the letter.

Yarbrough indicated the basis for the threat was because the judge had had dismissed a civil rights lawsuit Yarbrough filed against TDCJ personnel several years earlier.

He will be returned to state custody.  Upon his release from state custody he will be transferred to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.   Yarbrough was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release upon his release from federal prison, during which he will participate in mental health counseling.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the TDCJ-Office of Inspector General investigated the case which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mel Pechacek.

Updated April 30, 2015