Man accused of threatening to kill Wake judge after contempt sentence

From staff reportsSeptember 10, 2013 

— A Raleigh man who was found in contempt of court for being intoxicated in a Wake County courtroom last week was charged Monday with threatening to kill the judge who sentenced him.

Wake County sheriff’s deputies accused Stephen Land Whitten Jr., 43, of 3403 Lake Woodard Drive with threatening to kill a court officer, District Judge Margaret Eagles, a felony.

An arrest warrant states that Whitten “did knowingly make a threat to kill M. Eagles, a Wake County District Court judge, by stating several times in open court that he was going to kill her” on Friday.

Eagles had found Whitten in contempt of court for being intoxicated, and deputies moved him to a room off the courtroom, Capt. James Stevens, the sheriff’s office spokesman, said.

There, Stevens said, Whitten began kicking the door to the courtroom, damaging it, and he was brought back before Eagles, which is when deputies charged he threatened her.

Whitten was scheduled for a court appearance Tuesday on the felony charge.

Appearances were scheduled later this month and next month on charges of injury to property and resisting a law enforcement officer.

Eagles was handling domestic violence court on Friday, and it was not clear why Whitten was in the courtroom.

Sheriff’s office records show that he was arrested in past years but had no charges pending this year.

Stevens said Whitten may have been in court as a witness in a case before Eagles.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service