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Man sentenced to jail time and probation for threats against deputies
Crime and Courts

Man sentenced to jail time and probation for threats against deputies

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RACINE COUNTY — A Milwaukee man, accused of posting a number of Facebook threats against Racine County sheriff’s deputies, was sentenced Tuesday to spend additional time in the Racine County Jail.

Edgar Tellez, 21, was initially charged with a single felony count of making a terrorist threat and nine felony counts of making threats to a law enforcement officer.

As part of a plea deal, Tellez pleaded no contest to making a terrorist threat and was found guilty. The rest of the nine charges were dismissed but considered for sentencing purposes.

Racine County Circuit Court Judge Wynne Laufenberg sentenced Tellez, who has been in custody since August, to spend an additional two months in the County Jail. Tellez will then spend two years on probation. As a condition of his probation, Tellez will not be allowed to use social media.

“These threats, Mr. Tellez, and I won’t repeat them on the record, I find them repulsive and repugnant,” Laufenberg said.

Facebook threats

The charges stem from Facebook comments Tellez made in August on eight photos of deputies on a Facebook page titled the State of Wisconsin vs. James A. Barker III.

The case, which has been contentious, resulted in a guilty verdict by a jury last week. Some believe Barker’s rights were violated in connection to the case.

“Mr. Tellez took it upon himself to incite that group that was already up in arms over that case, and to essentially call for the deaths of several Racine County sheriff’s deputies, as well as an assault on the wife of one Racine County sheriff’s deputy,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Steenrod said.

In six of the photos on the page, Tellez commented that the deputies should have their heads cut off. Tellez also wrote “let’s go shoot the department up” and “cut off his head and bring me that shirt …” on another photo.

On another photo, Tellez allegedly said to cut a deputy’s wife’s head off “and let him hold it.”

“What he was doing, at its most basic level, is probably trolling, but what he was really doing was far worse than that,” Steenrod said.

Man allegedly says deputies should have heads cut off

Tellez’s own personal Facebook page also allegedly contained a picture of a dead law enforcement officer with a gunshot wound to the forehead.

‘Immature’ and ‘unacceptable’

Tellez’s attorney, Laura Walker, called her client “immature,” and said he never meant to actually carry out the threats he made online.

“I don’t think there was ever any serious threat to anyone,” Walker said. “I think we need to look at it for what it is — someone being stupid and immature on social media.”

Regardless, Steenrod said Tellez’s actions were wrong.

“He (Tellez) was calling for the deaths of law enforcement, people who put their lives on the line everyday to protect the community and to protect Mr. Tellez,” Steenrod said.

Laufenberg agreed that Tellez’s actions were serious.

“They (the comments) were meant to incite others and they were meant to intimidate and they were meant to diminish law enforcement,” Laufenberg said. “That cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

“These threats, Mr. Tellez, and I won’t repeat them on the record, I find them repulsive and repugnant ... They (the comments) were meant to incite others and they were meant to intimidate and they were meant to diminish law enforcement. That cannot and will not be tolerated.” Wynne Laufenberg, Racine County Circuit Court Judge

“These threats, Mr. Tellez, and I won’t repeat them on the record, I find them repulsive and repugnant ... They (the comments) were meant to incite others and they were meant to intimidate and they were meant to diminish law enforcement. That cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Wynne Laufenberg, Racine County Circuit Court Judge 

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Alyssa Mauk covers breaking news and courts. She enjoys spending time with her family, video games, heavy metal music, watching YouTube videos, comic books and movies.

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