A New Jersey "shock blogger" accused of threatening two Connecticut lawmakers was arraigned Tuesday and his bond was increased from $25,000 to $25,500.
Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen, was arrested after he allegedly urged his blog readers to "take up arms" against Sen. Andrew McDonald, Rep. Michael Lawlor and Tom Jones from the Office of State Ethics.
Turner said he was upset about proposed legislation that would allow the state to scrutinize the Catholic church's finances. The bill was withdrawn in March. Turner's lawyer says the case is about freedom of speech.
Here's what was posted on the site:
TRN advocates Catholics in Connecticut take up arms and put down this tyranny by force. To that end, THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT ON "THE HAL TURNER SHOW" we will be releasing the home addresses of the Senator and Assemblyman who introduced Bill 1098 as well as the home address of Thomas K. Jones from the OSE.
After all, if they are so proud of what they're doing, they shouldn’t mind if everyone knows where they live.
It is our intent to foment direct action against these individuals personally. These beastly government officials should be made an example of as a warning to others in government: Obey the Constitution or die.
If any state attorney, police department or court thinks they're going to get uppity with us about this; I suspect we have enough bullets to put them down too.
The state pushed; it is about to get pushed back. Elected and other government officials sometimes need to be put in their place. They serve; they do not rule. They need to learn their place or be put there by force.
New Jersey attorney Michael Orozco has been added to Turner’s defense team. He helped Turner on a past first amendment case in that state.
Turner is also accused of threatening to kill three federal judges in Illinois, where he has been detained without bail. Orozco is also representing him in that case.
It is because of the Illinois case, the judge added another $500 to his $25,000 bond in here. Prosecutors wanted it to be increased by another $25,000.
Orozco told reporters after a hearing in Hartford that Turner published provocative information so that people who acted could be arrested by federal authorities.
Prosecutors have previously acknowledged that Turner was an informant for several years, paid by the government to spy on radical right-wing organizations.
The Illinois trial is scheduled for early October and the case will be back in a Connecticut courtroom on Oct. 19.
Since his legal problems began, Turner's family took his site down and started a blog of its own with a "Free Hal Turner" video and ticker to track contributions to his defense fund. The last update said they raised $1,406 of the $45,000 goal.