Published October 12, 2012
Inmate faces new charge for alleged threat to Thurston judgeBY JEREMY PAWLOSKI
A man serving 8½ years in prison for trying to hire a hit man to kill Thurston County District Court Judge Kalo Wilcox faces new charges for allegedly sending Wilcox a letter from prison threatening to kill her. James Randall Burnett, 28, will be transported Oct. 30 from the Monroe Correctional Complex to Thurston County Superior Court for arraignment on charges of intimidating a judge and felony harassment. The letter was mailed to Wilcox from the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla on Dec. 9, 2011, two months after he was sentenced for trying to hire a cellmate at the Nisqually Jail to kill her. Burnett was angry after appearing before Wilcox in September 2011 and wrote a note offering methamphetamine to a fellow inmate if he would kill her upon his release. The letter was reported to authorities last year. Several factors contributed to the long investigation that led to the new charges, including that Burnett is not a danger as long as he is in prison and his mail is monitored, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Powers said Friday. When a detective met with Burnett in prison, Burnett admitted that he wants to kill Wilcox and her family because of the way she addressed him in court, court papers state. “In the letter, Burnett wrote that he truly intended to kill Judge Wilcox, and that she should never think that she will be safe, because she will not be,” court papers state. “He then stated that he intended to also kill the family of Judge Wilcox and make her watch as he did this. He then provided details as to how he would slowly kill her family, and provided details as to how he would then kill her. He then described Judge Wilcox’s death as her ‘debt’ to him. Included with the letter was a written offer of cocaine in return for completion of the ‘contract of Judge Kalo Wilcox.’” Wilcox is not the only local judge to have been targeted in recent months. In September, Presiding District Court Judge Michael “Brett” Buckley answered the door of his home and had a chemical liquid thrown in his face, causing skin irritation that was treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Buckley suffered only minor injuries and was back at work showing no ill-effects several days later. The assailant hasn’t been found.