Turner, who has links to a white supremacist movement, is on trial making death threats against three Chicago-based federal appeals judges after saying in Internet postings in June that the judges "deserve to be killed" because they had refused to overturn handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, NewJersey.com reports.
He’s been tried before for the same crime, but his case ended in a mistrial in December 2009.
Prosecutors had argued that Turner knew an Internet tirade he penned, insisting three judges "must die," could provoke violence by members of his radical audience. The defense likened Turner to a "shock jock" and argued he was expressing an opinion protected by the First Amendment.
All three of the judges testified that they felt intimidated by the posts.
One thing that’s complicating the case is that Turner was paid upwards of $100,000 by the FBI to act as an informant. Besides neo-Nazis, Turner said he made contact with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation at the FBI’s behest.
Turner’s defense claims that his threatening blog post was actually requested by the FBI.
The investigators were trying to ferret out a lead in the murder of Judge Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother, and asked Turner to “ratchet up the rhetoric” to draw out the white supremacists who they believed were responsible.
It turned out the man who killed the judge’s family was upset with another ruling the judge made.