Court Security

Man Charged re Judge Grudge Phone Threats, But Pistol-Packing Jurist Is Ready for Action, If Needed


A Florida man who police say left multiple profanity-laden voicemails in July threatening to pistol-whip and kill a state court judge against whom he’d admittedly held a 12-year grudge has been tracked down, arrested and charged in a stalking and harassment case.

A uniformed, armed sheriff’s officer protected 15th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Nelson E. Bailey after the threats. But the judge, who sits in the Belle Glade courthouse in Palm Beach County, tells the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he’s ready to protect himself, if necessary, with the pistol he carries at all times.

“I carry a gun and I know how to use it,” said the judge, who was a criminal defense lawyer before taking the bench in 1995.

An earlier Sun Sentinel story provides additional details about the arrest of Alan Lester Sokol, who is also charged with making harassing phone calls to others.

An arrest report says Sokol told police he was angry at the judge because Nelson raised his bail in a 2000 domestic violence case in which Sokol’s mother was the alleged victim.

Related coverage:

Daily Mail: “Florida judge wins damages after surgical sponge left inside him causes five months of agony”

Palm Beach Post: “Florida judges ask to have mandatory retirement age raised”

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