OAKLAND -- An Oakland man faces up to three years in prison for death threats he made to an Alameda County Superior Court judge in legal motions.
Jamal Austin, 59, was convicted by jury on Friday of one felony count of threatening a public official for threats he made against Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jacob Blea III in 2012 and 2013.
Blea at the time was heading the court's appellate division and Austin, acting as his own attorney, wanted his appeal granted in an excessive force civil compliant against Emeryville police and Highland Hospital that had been thrown out by another judge, said deputy district attorney Neil Layton.
Austin's threats were increasingly specific, escalating to a statement in a January 2013 motion that Blea should be "removed or killed" and told the judge it was his "last chance to redeem yourself," Layton said. Austin has been in jail custody since he was arrested for the threats in March 2013.
Austin acted as his own attorney at trial and argued that he never intended to threaten the judge and he was being prosecuted as part of a conspiracy against him, Layton said. A sentencing date will be picked Monday.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.