A Boyle County man is in jail without bond today after he allegedly made threats against Family Court Judge Bruce Petrie and four others involved in his divorce case and a criminal prosecution against him.
Bobby Lee Wilson, 56, 7919 Forkland Road, was arrested early Tuesday morning at his residence and charged with five counts of terroristic threatening and two counts of intimidating a participant in a legal process.
Wilson and his wife are in the middle of a bitter divorce case presided over by Petrie, and Russell has sided with her mother through the proceeding, Elliott said. Coleman is prosecuting Wilson on charges that he threatened two women at a funeral in 2011.
Acting on information received from Petrie about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Elliott said authorities obtained a search warrant and executed it at Wilson’s home just after midnight Tuesday. A 9 mm handgun, two high-powered rifles and ammunition were seized, the sheriff said.
Elliott said Petrie got word from another source that Wilson claimed to have purchased ammunition recently and that he had bullets with the names of the five intended targets on them.
Elliott said authorities were compelled to act quickly in the case because of Wilson’s history with law enforcement, the acrimonious nature of the divorce and a 2004 case in which Ronnie Cornett of Danville was intercepted on his way to courthouse with plans to shoot Petrie, Cornett’s ex-wife and her attorney.
Cornett was convicted of two counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
“We took of all of that into consideration,” Elliott said. Wilson “has been pretty distraught. He and his wife are separated, and with the volatility of the domestic situation, we really took this to heart. I felt like we needed to act on it quickly because of what we’ve seen in this type of situation in the past.”
After receiving a 911 call from Petrie, Elliott said the five people threatened were notified and provided with extra security while officers put together a case to obtain arrest and search warrants.
The search warrant specifically mentioned a 9 mm handgun that was believed to be the weapon Wilson planned to use, Elliott said.
State troopers were enlisted to help deputies execute the “high-risk” warrants, but Wilson surrendered quickly and without incident, the sheriff said.
Helton and Coleman said they were notified about 3 a.m. Tuesday that Wilson had been taken into custody.
Both Helton and Coleman said threats regularly come with the territory of working highly emotional divorces, custody battles and criminal cases where a person’s freedom is at stake.
Both said, however, that the threats allegedly made by Wilson were unusual in that they appeared more specific and direct — mentioning individuals by name — and the quick reaction by law enforcement.
Coleman is prosecuting Wilson in Boyle District Court for misdemeanor charges of terroristic threatening and harassment that allegedly occurred in August 2011 at Stith Funeral Home in Junction City.
According to court records, Regina Kuchenbrod told police she was at the funeral of her husband when Wilson made a hand gesture like pointing a gun toward her and her family.
Vonda Rigdon, who was also attending the funeral, said Wilson told her, ‘Hey, bitch, I’m going to kill you,” according to court records.
On the arrest warrants in those cases, Wilson was considered “armed and dangerous.”
Coleman said Kuchenbrod had filed a civil suit in Washington County against Wilson, who had built her home, over construction problems. Other similar claims have been filed against Wilson, she said.
Though not involved in the Wilsons’ divorce case, Coleman said the alleged incidents at the funeral indicate that Wilson’s threats against her and the others should be taken seriously.
“To me, that funeral home incident is significant. It’s one thing to be upset and have a grudge when something in court doesn’t go your way, but going to a funeral to act on it crosses the line,” she said.
“With his history, they know he’s got some issues.”