Man sentenced for death threats to judge’s family

The charges stem from a hearing during which a judge denied a request to withdraw a guilty plea.

A Kenai man has been given a five-year prison sentence for threatening to kill the family of an Alaska Superior Court Judge in 2017, according to a Jan. 14 press release from the Department of Justice.

Steven Bachmeier, 43, of Kenai, was sentenced on Friday, Jan. 10 by U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason to serve five years in federal prison — the maximum sentence allowed by statute — followed by three years of supervised release. The defendant’s sentencing guideline range was 41 to 51 months of imprisonment.

After a three-day trial, Bachmeier was convicted by a federal jury in January of 2019 of one count of mailing a threatening communication, according to the press release.

The charges stem from a hearing in May 2010 during which a judge denied Bachmeier’s request to withdraw a guilty plea in a felony criminal case. At the time, Bachmeier responded by threatening to “carve the flesh” from the judge’s children, and Bachmeier was sentenced to eight years in prison for the charges to which he had originally pleaded guilty.

Then in January of 2017, the same judge was assigned to a civil case involving Bachmeier, who attempted to have his name legally changed. Bachmeier was angry that the same judge had been assigned to preside over the name-change request, according to the press release, and mailed in a pleading in which he wrote “I have told her in the past I’m going to kill her family, which I still [entend] to do.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Alaska State Troopers through the Division of Judicial Services conducted the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Anne Veldhuis and Aunnie Steward.

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