- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Saying the crimes warrant a “breathtaking sentence,” a federal judge in Illinois has sentenced a prison inmate to the maximum punishment of 15 years behind bars for chronically sending threatening letters while in lockup.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan on Friday ordered that William Mabie, 56, serve five years on each of three felony counts of mailing threatening communications. Reagan ordered those terms to be served one after the other, and on top of the man’s federal prison term related to a Missouri threats case.

Mabie, formerly of the St. Louis suburb of Festus, Missouri, also was fined $15,000. Reagan noted the man’s half-dozen prior convictions of threat-related charges as he gave Mabie “a breathtaking sentence for breathtaking conduct.” Reagan concluded that Mabie is capable of carrying out his threats once freed from prison.

In the latest case, Mabie was convicted in December of sending questionable letters in 2012 and 2013 while he was imprisoned in Florence, Colorado, and Lompoc, California. One of the letters went to the sheriff of Illinois’ Bond County; the other two went to a policeman’s wife.

At the time, Mabie was serving a seven-year, four-month federal sentence out of Missouri for threatening mailings, including the policeman’s wife and two former prosecutors. Prosecutors said Mabie warned of his intentions to engage in “gunfights” with officers and inflict other violence in which it “would take hours to clean up the blood.”

During a March hearing in the latest case, prosecutors said, Mabie spat on a deputy federal marshal.

Reagan, in sentencing Mabie in East St. Louis, Illinois, told the man he felt obligated to impose the maximum sentence, saying no previous term had deterred Mabie.

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