ST. PAUL — A West Fargo man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for threatening to murder a federal judge.
Robert Phillip Ivers, 65, was convicted by a federal jury last September and sentenced Friday, March 1, in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.
In the case, U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright held a bench trial on a civil lawsuit in January 2017 brought by Ivers and ruled against him. He was trying to recoup proceeds from his policy with a life insurance company.
Ivers, according to testimony in the September trial, sent a series of threatening letters to the judge and called a court employee to say he was "crazy angry" at the judge and described himself as a "walking bomb."
Ivers was then told repeatedly by deputy U.S. marshals to stop his threatening language.
Then in November 2017, Ivers filed another civil lawsuit alleging the same facts as those in the case he lost. He was referred to two volunteer lawyers who told him after consulting over the phone that they didn't think he had a case.
Ivers then began talking with the lawyers about his previous case and one of the lawyers said Ivers became "intensely angry" and made threatening statements such as:
- "I had overwhelming evidence."
- The judge "stacked the deck" to make sure I lost this case.
- "She is lucky." I was going to "throw some chairs."
- "You don't know the fifty different ways I planned to kill her."
After the lawyer reported the threats Ivers made, two deputy U.S. marshals went to a residence in West Fargo. When confronted, Ivers became extremely agitated, according to court documents, and screamed at the deputies, among other things, that he was glad the judge was scared because "that (expletive) judge stole my life."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service.
Ivers was also found guilty of interstate transmission of a threat to injure another person.
After serving his prison term, Ivers will have three years of supervised release with location monitoring.