Sawyer County Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Threatening Local Criminal Justice Officials and Family

Aug 21 2019

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul announced that on August 14, 2019, Jerry Wayne True was sentenced by Bayfield County Circuit Judge John P. Anderson to the maximum sentence allowed by law for threats to injure a judge, threats to injure a judge’s family, and one count each of threats to injure a prosecutor, with each count charged as a habitual offender. A jury convicted True in July 2019.


“Threats like the ones made in this case are an attack on our system of justice,” said Attorney General Kaul. “This case sends a clear message that people who threaten the safety of others face severe consequences.”


Judge Anderson sentenced True to the maximum sentence allowed by law – 40 years, 28 years of initial confinement, followed by 12 years of extended supervision, consecutive to any and all sentences he is presently serving.


In November 2017, Jerry Wayne True sat in the Sawyer County Jail and penned a letter to a friend in which he outlined his plans for when he was released from prison:  he would research changing his name, changing his date of birth, and then killing the family of the Sawyer County circuit court judge, then the Sawyer County circuit court judge, then the Sawyer County District Attorney and the Sawyer County Assistant District Attorney, then his probation officer and finally his probation officer’s supervisor.  He wrote that they had ruined his life so he was going to hunt them down

and take theirs. He wrote that he would blow up the courthouse, and the Department of Corrections office.  Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office Jail personnel intercepted the letter.


The conviction was obtained with assistance from the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Crime Victim Services Specialist Anne Kessenich. The prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Robert Kaiser and Tiffany Winter, paralegal Jackie Righter, and legal associate Alex Szezch of the DOJ Division of Legal Services Criminal Litigation Unit, with permission from the Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office.


A copy of the criminal complaint is attached.