Man accused of threatening Macomb judge is acquitted

CLINTON TOWNSHIP (AP) - A man who spent nearly two months in jail while awaiting trial has been acquitted of a threat-related misdemeanor involving a suburban Detroit judge.

Jonathan Vanderhagen has been deeply critical of Macomb County courts after the death of his 1-year-old son during a custody dispute in 2017. He was charged after posting an online photo of himself holding a shovel with the initials of Judge Rachel Rancilio.

But a jury last Thursday quickly cleared him of malicious use of telecommunications services. Vanderhagen denied making threats against the judge. He told jurors he posed with a shovel because he was digging "up every bit of the truth" to expose injustice in the court system.

Rancilio wasn't present for the verdict. She told jurors that she believed Vanderhagen was going to kill her.

Published: Tue, Sep 24, 2019