Missouri man who threatened Neb. judge loses appeal

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court refused to reduce the sentence of a Missouri man who threatened to kill a federal appeals judge in Nebraska but said the inmate would be allowed to use the Internet when he left prison.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Jeffrey Phillips, of St. Genevieve, Mo., was mistaken in his belief that he wouldn’t be allowed to use the Internet when he was released. A provision of his sentence barring him from downloading child pornography won’t prevent him from accessing other material on the Internet, it said.

Phillips was sentenced in March to eight years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

He pleaded guilty to sending a threatening letter to Judge C. Arlen Beam of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The envelope, sent in July 2009, included a white powder that the letter said was anthrax.

According to a federal indictment, the letter threatened the judge and his family, saying “Enjoy your anthrax,” “You are dead,” and “Your kids are dead.”

Beam later said he hadn’t heard or reviewed a case involving Phillips.

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