- Associated Press - Sunday, March 6, 2016

TRI-CITIES, Wash. (AP) - A man charged with a courtroom assault is facing new charges for allegedly threatening a Benton County judge after learning he had to wear restraints during future court proceedings.

The Tri-City Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1TkL0uc ) that 37-year-old Brandon VanWinkle has pleaded not guilty to the intimidating a judge charge.

Court documents say VanWinkle told his now-former attorney, Alexandria Sheridan, that he would “chop (Judge Alex Ekstrom) up in his chambers” if he had to start wearing leg shackles and a belly chain in court. He’s also accused of threatening Sheridan and Deputy Prosecutor Kristin McRoberts.

VanWinkle will go to trial this month for the alleged threat and for attacking another defendant during his December hearing for a drug arrest.

VanWinkle’s new attorney is working to get the assault charge dismissed.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com

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