DENVER — A 49-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to three felony counts relating to retaliation against a judge, the Denver District Attorney's Office announced.
Eric Brandt had faced a maximum of six years for each count for a possible maximum of 18 years. The judge ultimately sentenced Brandt to four years for each of the three counts, which will run consecutively.
His plea agreement consolidated multiple cases against him that originated in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson counties that date back to 2018. They include the following incidents:
- Dec. 18, 2018: Case involving a Denver judge
- Nov. 3, 2019: Case involving a Jefferson County judge
- Dec. 2 & 3, 2019: Case involving an Adams County judge, judicial assistant, and Adams County Sheriff‘s Office deputy.
Brandt was in a courtroom on Dec. 18, 2019, during a hearing where a Denver District Court judge was presiding over a case involving a member of an environmental activist group, the district attorney's office said.
The judge ordered them to be removed from the courtroom, and two people were arrested at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse.
About an hour after the disruption, the judge's judicial assistant received a phone call from Brandt who requested that the judicial assistant pass on a message, and according to an arrest affidavit he said in part:
“It is my thought that the judge should be violently murdered and his brains splattered all over the face of his children. And it’s my prayer that some [expletive] actually does it. Kill, kill, kill, all judges should die."
The next day, according to prosecutors, Brandt posted a video online giving that judge’s home address and calling for protests at the judge’s home.
On Dec. 21, 2019, Brandt posted another video saying he was going to stop by the home of the judge’s parent and have a little chat. In a prior video, Brandt says the judge would, “look best hanging from a tree,” prosecutors said.
As a result of the threats, police provided extra patrols around the judge’s home.
Brandt was one of two men charged with seven counts of jury tampering for a July 27, 2015, incident outside the Lindsay-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver.
According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, the men allegedly set up a booth outside the courthouse that said "Juror Info" and handed out fliers on jury nullification, a practice in which jurors refuse to convict someone who committed a crime because they don't think the underlying law is fair.
Civil rights attorney David Lane took on the case following the arrest and argued that it's against the First Amendment to prevent people from sharing their opinions in front of a public courthouse.
The case worked its way through the court system after multiple appeals. In 2019, the state supreme court decided with Brandt.
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