Threat Made To Decapitate Rutherford Co. Judge

Posted at 7:43 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 21:08:02-04

Officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department arrested a man in connection with alleged threat he made against a judge. 

Police said a man angry over a court ruling made a graphic threat of violence forcing officers to quickly alert the judge and locate the suspect.

The suspect allegedly threatened to first shoot and then decapitate Chancery Court Judge Howard Wilson.

"In this case it was done on a recorded line talking to police....and so we take the call very seriously," said Sgt. Kyle Evans.

Murfreesboro police said Mark Haynes called the Police Department in anger to complain about a decision in Chancellor Wilson's court.

His threat was recorded and became evidence in the case. Police immediately notified Wilson, who declined comment along with District Attorney Jennings Jones.

"Sadly with everything going these days threats are more common place. We also have to take them more seriously," said Jones.

It wasn't the first time a prominent judge has been targeted in Rutherford county. Two years ago, someone fired nine pellets from a high powered BB gun at the windows of then-Circuit Court Judge Don Ash's home.

The culprits in that case were never caught. A threat against a judge is always of special concern and Sgt. Evans says the priority was to move quickly.

"You just never know what someone is going to do. What they are going to carry out," said Evans.

The suspect was held on $200,000 bond and based on the alleged threat he will undergo a mental evaluation.

Police did immediately notify Wilson of the threat, but he did not request any extra security.

Officers had the suspect Mark Haynes in custody not long after he allegedly made the threatening phone call.