By Jacob Mathias
A La Crosse man who is currently an inmate in the Wood County Jail faces felony charges after alleged threats to a judge.
Jason Spindler, 30, is charged with battery or threat to a judge, a class H felony with a maximum sentence of six years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.
According to court documents, on August 26 at about 5:16 PM a Wood County Sheriff’s deputy was called to investigate allegations that Spindler had made threats toward the Honorable Judge Gregory J. Potter. Spindler had seen Potter at a court hearing earlier that day regarding earlier charges of theft, criminal damage to property and taking and driving a vehicle without consent.
Potter is the presiding judge of Branch 1 of Wood County Circuit Court.
On the night of said threats, a sheriff’s deputy had taken Spindler to the Riverview Hospital for unspecified, needed medical treatments. When they were at the hospital, Spindler told the deputy he was hearing voices in his head.
According to the deputy, Spindler told him he was going to “chop the judge up and feed him to his family.” Further inquiry by the deputy revealed that Spindler directed the threat toward Potter.
The deputy asked if the voices in Spindler’s head told him to hurt the judge.
“I’m going to kill that f*****,” Spindler said in response.
At his initial appearance in Branch 2 of the Wood County Circuit Court Tuesday, Spindler appeared in custody and attempted to plead guilty to the charge.
“Can I just plead guilty and get this over with,” he said.
The Honorable Judge Nicholas J. Brazeau Jr., said that Spindler could not plead guilty as he would then be the one to sentence him and due to Brazeau’s working relationship with Potter, this would present an ethical dilemma. Any pleas, trials or sentencing will be transferred to a different court district for an impartial decision.
Spindler remains in custody but a $10,000 cash bond was issued under the condition that he have no contact with Potter, his family or his residence.
Spindler’s next court appearance has not been scheduled.