MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a Minnesota woman's 15-year sentence for threatening to kill two law enforcement officers, saying it was appropriate because the woman's conduct happened over a long time and continued after she pleaded guilty.
Kim Rolene Hutterer pleaded guilty in July 2011 to two counts stemming from threats she made to a federal prisons corrections officer and to FBI Special Agent Dean Scheidler, who arrested her decades earlier for making bomb threats against an airline.
Court documents show Hutterer sent graphic threats to Scheidler for years. In one letter, she threatened to "slowly cut skin off his body" and "cut his eyelids off." She also carved a threat against him into her jail cell wall and carved his name into her arm with a staple.
She continued to write threatening letters to Scheidler, his wife and other authorities after pleading guilty.
Hutterer's attorneys argued her 15-year sentence was unreasonable, saying Hutterer took responsibility by pleading guilty and the court gave more weight to the victims' status as law enforcement officers than they gave to Hutterer's mental illness and her inability to act on her threats while she was incarcerated.
But a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and found the sentence was proper. Among other things, the judges wrote that since Hutterer continued to send threatening letters after pleading guilty, she did not accept responsibility and showed no remorse.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.