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Man charged with threatening judge

April 19, 2001

Man charged with threatening judge



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

A man charged Wednesday with verbally threatening a Washington County Circuit judge who detained his son moments earlier has been jailed on $125,000 bond.

Charles Edward Southard Jr., 36, of 537 Ridge Ave., could face up to three years in jail and/or a $2,500 fine if convicted of the charge of threatening a public official, a misdemeanor.

The charge was brought by Hagerstown City Police Officer Steve Magaha who was seated outside Courtroom 3 Wednesday waiting for a case to be called in Washington County Juvenile Court, according to court records.

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Southard's son has been the object of an earlier hearing involving allegations of violation of probation on a previous offense and a new charge of car theft, court records said.

In his charging document, Magaha alleged he became aware of Southard coming through the courtroom door when he heard him utter an obscenity.

In front of Magaha, Southard said he would blow Judge Donald Beachley's head off if he saw him out on the streets, court records alleged.

Southard was taken into custody and charged, court records said.

Southard appeared in Washington County District Court Thursday for a review of his bond before Judge Ralph France.

Southard told France he would apply for a public defender to represent him at the trial, which is scheduled for June 28.

Deputy Washington County State's Attorney Charles Strong told France that Southard has prior convictions for trespassing, battery, breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property.

Southard disputed that, saying some of those were his son's offenses.

Strong noted that the birthdate on court documents describing those convictions was Southard's, not his son's.

France kept the bond at $125,000.

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