U.S. v. Jeffries, No. 10-CR-100, 2010 WL 3619946 (E.D. Tenn. September 13, 2010)

Defendant created and posted a video to YouTube in which he allegedly sang a song that threatened to bomb the car of a judge scheduled to hear his child custody case. Though he did not mention the judge by name, he said the song was “for you judge” and said “do not tell me I cannot curse.” (The judge had previously admonished defendant for swearing in the courtroom.)

The feds charged defendant with one count of transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure and kill.

Recognizing that defendant was a danger to society, the government filed a motion asking the court to order he stay in custody until trial. The court granted the motion.

The court weighed four factors in making this determination. First, the charged offense was a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. 16 defines a crime of violence as one containing an element of threatened use of force against another). Second, the evidence as to defendant’s dangerousness was great — the YouTube video was about killing and car-bombing, after all. Third, the defendant’s character (especially in the past few months) made him a risk — he had attacked a doctor, had alcohol problems, and got kicked out of military housing for firing a weapon during a dispute. Fourth, defendant was a danger to the community and to his family — he was living with his wife and children when he had fired the gun into the air.