Federal authorities say they have located and arrested a man who while incarcerated had vowed to kill a judge, then disappeared from a Baltimore re-entry program this month.
The U.S. Marshals service cited the letter when filing charges of escape against Kevin Johnson, 34, but a spokesman said in an interview that they never considered him an actual threat to the judge, who stepped down from active service in January.
Johnson was arrested at Sinai Hospital, according to David Lutz, a Marshals spokesman.
In 2009 Johnson mailed a letter to U.S. District Judge Roger Titus in which he said he would kill the judge after being released from prison.
"I'm gonna come to the courthouse and wait for your heartless ass in the parking lot and when I see you (I know exactly what you look like), I'm going to put a few hot ones on your ass!" the letter read, according to court documents. "By the way this is NOT a threat ... It's a [expletive] promise. See you soon bitch."
He signed the letter, "Looking forward to watching you die."
At the time, Johnson was being held in a state prison in connection with a bank robbery conviction, and had been filing complaints in federal court about mistreatment in the prison.
The threatening letter resulted in additional charges that extended Johnson's time behind bars by another 64 months in federal custody, to be followed by supervised release.
Johnson was nearing his release date and was slated to enter a residential re-entry program for the final six months of his sentence, but authorities said in court documents that he failed to show.
Johnson had been unaccounted for since Aug. 6, and investigators viewed footage from the Greyhound bus terminal showing that he had arrived in Baltimore that day. On Aug. 18, the U.S. Marshals Service filed a criminal complaint charging Johnson with a federal charge of escape.
Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Johnson had been taken into custody earlier in the day and made his first appearance in court.