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Otsego County Man Charged with Threatening Chief Judge

LANSING - A man who made death threats against a judge in response to a protection order being issued against him now faces up to two decades in prison, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today.

On Friday, the Department of Attorney General received and approved a special prosecutor request from the Otsego County Prosecutor's Office. The forwarded investigation involved Jonathan Brisson, 32, of Vanderbilt, who was in custody after threatening Otsego County Circuit Court Chief Judge Colin G. Hunter on Facebook.

Monday afternoon, Brisson was arraigned by Judge Michael Cooper in Otsego County's 87-A District Court on: 

  • one count of communicating a false threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony. 

Brisson was given a $50,000 cash/surety bond and ordered to have no contact with Judge Hunter or the court building. He also cannot possess firearms, alcohol or drugs, and if released, was ordered to undergo a community mental health evaluation prior to release.

Over the course of two days at the beginning of January, Brisson posted several times to Facebook with direct threats toward Judge Hunter, including saying he challenges the judge to a duel, threatening decapitation and "leading the civil war against the children in office."

When interviewed by deputies, Brisson admitted he wrote the posts and said he was angry the judge granted a personal protection order (PPO) against him.

"Threats against public officials will not be tolerated by my office," Nessel said. "The facts of this case include very direct and detailed threats that cross the line between free speech and criminal behavior."

A probable cause conference is set for Jan. 20 at 1:30 p.m.


Please note:  A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  The Department does not provide booking photos.