Trials & Litigation

Small claims loss morphs into bigger case for man accused of threatening judge


An adverse ruling in small claims court earlier this month has been transformed into a significantly bigger case for George Bennett.

The 55-year-old Wisconsin man is now facing criminal charges, accused of leaving threatening and harassing voice mail messages for the judge in the Dane County small claims case during the two weeks after his June 6 loss, according to the Associated Press and Channel 3000.

In addition to charges of battery or threat to a judge, telephone harassment and disorderly conduct concerning Circuit Judge Rhonda Lanford, the defendant also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police said they found a gun when searching Bennett’s home in Madison, pursuant to a warrant.

Police said Bennett told them he didn’t intend to hurt anyone and said his phone messages suggested that God would be dealing with the judge.

He is expected to be in front of another judge in criminal court Tuesday.

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