James Edward Satterfield, 59, was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by two years of probation on Thursday.
He was arrested after sending a letter to a Cobb Superior Court judge’s wife, threatening to eat their children. He was convicted on all five counts he was charged with. They were two counts of terroristic threats with intent to retaliate, and three counts of terroristic threats.
On Dec. 30, 2012, Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green was at his home and opened a letter that had come in the mail addressed to his wife. In the five-page, typed letter, Satterfield outlined his intent to kill the judge’s wife and said he “would kill and eat their children,” according to the arrest warrant. The letter went on to state that he “would cook them first to make them more palatable.”
Sheriff’s deputies were notified, and Satterfield was arrested the same day and placed in the county jail without bond. A Taurus handgun known as “The Judge” was reportedly found in his car at the time of his arrest, and on his computer, investigators said they found his copy of the letter, as well as a photo of the judge’s house.
A defense attorney didn’t dispute that Satterfield wrote and mailed the letter, but he argued the man is delusional.
Satterfield’s lawyer, a doctor and family members told the judge that he was not a real threat to the community.
“It was my opinion he was not responsible, based on a delusional compulsion,” Dr. Kevin Richards said.
In 2011, Green presided over Satterfield’s divorce case, which Satterfield himself filed. The divorce was finalized in July 2012.
Green and his wife both testified during the trial about the “terror” they and their two young children “continue to experience as a result of the threat,” according to a statement released Thursday by District Attorney Vic Reynolds’ Office.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary brought the case for the state. He told jurors: “No reasonable person in their right mind could not feel threatened by the letter.”
The prosecutor asked the judge to sentence Satterfield to the maximum possible, 25 years in prison. But instead, Satterfield was sentenced to a total of 10 years, with eight to be spent behind bars.