Witness Intimidation is a common charge that will often accompany a domestic assault and battery charge in Massachusetts. In the case of Commonwealth vs. Jeffrey S. Wheeler, it was alleged that the charge was against the Judge and not a specific person.
The defendant was convicted of two counts of intimidation in violation of G. L. c. 268, § 13B (intimidation statute). The defendant placed a telephone call to case specialist in the Newburyport Division of the District Court Department clerk’s office and stated that he was going to go rogue on a judge, that the judge was not “going to be a Judge anymore,” and that “it was going to appear on the TV.” The defendant mentioned the name of someone he said was involved in a court case and said that he was going to serve the judge with paperwork, but the case specialist believed it sounded like he was going to “take things into his own hands and do it himself.”
The Judge was made aware of the defendant’s telephone call to the clerk’s office and was immediately escorted to her office under the protection of a State trooper. The Judge was escorted home by State police at the end of the day. The Judge was shocked by the threat because the defendant’s name “did not resonate” with her.