U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
(713) 567-9000
January 28, 2015

Inmate Convicted of Threatening a Federal Judge

HOUSTON—George Yarbrough, 42, a former resident of Houston, has entered a guilty plea to a one-count criminal indictment charging him with mailing a threatening communication, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

As part of his plea, Yarbrough has admitted that on or about Sept. 26, 2014, he knowingly mailed a communication threatening to kill a specific federal judge in Houston. The communication was received at the Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse at 515 Rusk St. in Houston and had a return address implicating Yarbrough, who was an inmate serving a sentence within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

In the letter, Yarbrough warned the judge that he intended to kill him as soon as he got out of TDCJ. Yarbrough claimed the judge had ruined Yarbrough’s life and that he had lost of his loved ones. Yarbrough repeated the threat throughout the letter with a final note that “…I’m coming to get you and your family!”

Yarbrough was interviewed on two occasions and never denied sending the letter.

Yarbrough indicated the basis for the threat was because the judge had had dismissed a civil rights lawsuit Yarbrough filed against TDCJ personnel several years earlier.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for April 15, 2015. At that time, Yarbrough faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and the TDCJ-Office of Inspector General investigated the case which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mel Pechacek.

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