Midtown Raleigh News

Man arrested, charged with threatening Raleigh police chief

A man charged with threatening to kill Raleigh police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown has been arrested in California, according to the FBI.

Sheriff’s deputies in Tuolumne County, Calif., arrested Jesse Lee Kuhl on Thursday, and he is scheduled to appear in federal court in Fresno on Friday afternoon.

The FBI charges that Kuhl sent a series of threatening emails to Deck-Brown starting Oct. 10. Raleigh police traced the first four emails to a computer belonging to a woman who lived in Turlock, Calif., south of Modesto, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Raleigh.

An FBI agent went to the home and was told Kuhl no longer lived there. When the agent reached Kuhl by phone, he said he had sent the emails while he was intoxicated and that “he was extremely angry at the police chiefs because they knew of his mistreatment by North Carolina Waste Management employees,” his former employer, according to the complaint.

Kuhl thought he had been discriminated against at the company because he was from Northern California and because he knew about Waste Management employees bringing drugs into North Carolina, the complaint says.

On Jan. 7, four more threatening emails were sent from Kuhl’s email address, including one with the subject line “you better watch your back!”

That was followed by another email on Jan. 8 and eight more on Jan. 13 that were laced with racial slurs and profanity, according to the complaint.

“I demand you resign or you deserve to die,” one of them read. Another said, “Fayetteville will hand me a shotgun to drive up there and .... kill you....”

It’s not clear if Deck-Brown knew of Kuhl before the emails arrived. Through a spokesman, she declined to comment on the threats.

Staff writer Thomasi McDonald contributed.