March 29, 2023
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced this afternoon that criminal charges against a 42-year-old Independence, Mo, who left threatening messages this week at the office of a 16th Circuit judge, have been enhanced,
Michael A. Deblois, dob: 8/19/1980, now faces Tampering With a Judicial Officer and Harassment Motivated By Discrimination To Frighten Or Disturb Another Person. This means that defendant now faces two Class D felonies punishable by up to 7 years in prison.*
According to court records, on March 27 and 28, 2023, a 16th Circuit judge's office received multiple voicemails from the defendant with hateful, angry threatening and harassing messages. When office employees reached out to him, he used profanity and racial slurs. Jackson County Sheriff's deputies and a detective investigated the calls. The amended charge includes that the defendant was motivated to engage in such acts because of the race of the judge.
Prosecutor Baker issued the following statement today:
No member of the public should be allowed to threaten a public official in the course of doing their duties. But today most public officials experience threats to their safety, simply for doing a job for the public. While this type of anger is not a new phenomenon in our culture, it cannot be tolerated. This hate-filled speech is not protected speech. It is a crime. It will not be tolerated when it is directed at a judge and the judge's staff who assist in this necessary work.
The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon.
For more information, contact:
Michael Mansur, Director of Communication
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor
Work : (816) 881-3812
Mobile : (816) 674-3954
*Charges are only accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or pleads guilty.