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Man Who Sent Threats to News Editor and Federal Judge Gets 20 Years

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If you mail a threatening letter to Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News, you just might wind up with 20 years in federal prison. That's just what happened today to Alan Van DeLaughter, who was convicted in August of "mailing threats to damage or destroy property and mailing a threatening communication." He was sentenced today by a federal judge in Lubbock.

Last March, Van DeLaughter sent a letter to Mong in which he "threatened a historical disaster at the Eldon B. Mahon U.S. Courthouse" in Fort Worth," according to a release sent out moments ago by the U.S. Attorney's Office. (From every story I've read on the subject, including this one, the then-imprisoned Van DeLaughter didn't actually threaten the editor, only the courthouse.) Van DeLaughter also sent a letter to U.S. District Judge John McBryde, in which he threatened to kill the judge and his family. Van DeLaughter got the maximum sentence for making the threats: 240 months, without parole. --Robert Wilonsky

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