Man Charged With Threatening To Kill Local Judge

Posted on: 9:45 pm, January 23, 2014, by , updated on: 05:41am, January 24, 2014

witcher mugshot threatening judge

Charges were filed this week against a Bella Vista man accused of threatening the life of a Benton County judge.

The Benton County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges on three criminal counts against Ricky Lee Witcher, 54. Those charges include one count of threatening a judicial officer, a Class-B felony punishable by five to 20 years in prison, and two counts of terroristic threatening, a Class-D felony that carries a penalty of zero to six years in prison, said Van Stone, Benton County prosecutor.

Witcher was arrested Jan. 10, and remains in the Benton County Jail on $253,500 bond, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 18.

A process server was serving court papers to Witcher earlier this month when the suspect became angry and started pacing around outside his place of work at Kozy Heat in Bella Vista, according to a probable cause report filed in Benton County Circuit Court.

The process server was serving the court order from Circuit Judge John Scott. Witcher then started insulting Scott before saying he would like to “put a bullet in his (expletive) head and kill the (expletive),” according to the probable cause affidavit.

Witcher then told the process server he would not go back to Scott’s courtroom and that Scott and two others in Benton County “needed to be killed,” the affidavit states. The two others are identified in the affidavit as Greg Clark and Seth Becket. Clark is a criminal lawyer in Benton County. Seth Bickett, spelled differently than “Becket”, is an attorney in Bentonville, according to public directories.

Deputy Keshia Guyll of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said Witcher’s words showed intent of following through with his threats of killing the judge and others.

“This was very direct, and it was very directed at particular people,” Guyll said. “He explained how he was going to do it and what he wanted to do.”

The suspect was later located and arrested by Benton County Sheriff’s deputies, according to the affidavit.

The judge told 5NEWS he has handled Witcher’s divorce and custody cases in his courtroom.

“I felt like it was an emotional reaction to my orders,” Scott said, adding that security consultants have advised him on how to protect himself. “There’s things we do, that my family does and my office staff does to improve our safety. We listen to experts and take their advice.”

5 comments

  • chris says:

    So when my crazy neighbor threatens to “blow everyone in my family’s heads off, cops come, and the dude gets told not to come over here again, but when an official person is threatened, oh its serious then. I have an infant and 4 year old, I guess they aren’t important enough.

  • Retired says:

    Your last statement unfortunately says it all Chris. It is a sad commentary on today’s society.

  • certainly like your web-site however you need to check the spelling
    on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife
    with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome
    to inform the reality on the other hand I’ll certainly come back again.

  • Tremendous issues here. I’m very glad to peer your post.
    Thanks a lot and I am looking forward to touch you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to
    say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts.

    After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

Comments are closed.