New Jersey blogger Hal Turner is facing criminal charges for threatening three state officials, but he was not present at a scheduled hearing on Tuesday. That's because he's being held without bail in Illinois for threatening federal judges there.
Turner faces charges of inciting injury against the Senate and House Judiciary chairmen and a state ethics official for his posts related to a bill regarding lay authority in the Catholic Church. He urged readers to "take up arms and put down this tyranny by force. He continued, "Obey the Constitution or die."
Two days after his Hartford court appearance in June, Turner was arrested by FBI agents. He was charged with threatening to kill federal judges in a separate blog post. Reacting to a ruling that upheld Chicago's ban on handguns, he wrote, "Let me be the first to say this plainly. These judges deserve to be killed."
His lawyer says he didn't break the law in either case.
"He's a shock jock. Let's remember that. That's all he is."
Michael Orozco says that Turner was an FBI informant for about five years. Orozco says the FBI taught Turner how to draw out potential threats without crossing the bounds of free speech.
"He was an agent provacateur. He was out there to solicit, I wouldn't say solicit -- I take that back. He wasn't there to solicit. He was there to cause reactions which then the federal authorities would act upon, and that was it."
Turner's relationship with the FBI ended in 2007, when his lawyer says he walked away from the arrangement.
He's being held without bail in Chicago. He's due back in court on the Connecticut charges on October 19.