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Judges take threats seriously, pack heat

Posted: 4:58 PM, May 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-20 22:29:46Z

CINCINNATI - They were rants that made court officials fear for their lives.

According to Hamilton County Det. Michael Stock, 47-year-old Johnny Moore threatened to kill Judge John Williams and Magistrate John Coleman for taking away his children in juvenile court.

He allegedly went so far as to say he knew where they lived as he made those death threats.

Both Williams and Coleman filed emergency affidavits to carry concealed weapons.

Williams said he did it on the advice of the sheriff's office.

Such threats are not uncommon. In fact, many who make their living in the court system say it's an occupational hazard.

Criminal defense attorney Mark Krumbein has even been shot at.

"Criminal defendants will try to attack people right in court," Krumbein said. "I've found that a number of judges, prosecutors and criminal defense attorney do carry guns."

 "It's getting dangerous out there," said retired Judge Norbert Nadel. He says he has been threatened once or twice.

He had to rethink his opinions about the risks.

"Times have changed. Originally, I was against courthouse security. Now, I'm for it," Nadel said.

And he thinks, in this case, a gun is a good idea.

"All I can tell you is, if I were a judge, I would allow it, yes."

Even though Moore's bond has been set at $1 million, Krumbein says the danger might still be very real.

"That person might ask someone else to fill in his shoes and take action on his behalf," he said.