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COMMON PLEAS COURT Magistrate received death threat, police say



Published: Sat, April 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Two Mahoning County judges were threatened in recent weeks.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- For the third time this month, a death threat has been leveled at a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court official, police said.

This time it was Robert Bannon, a court magistrate who hears cases involving stalking civil protection orders.

A 38-year-old Callaway Circle woman called police to report that Mark Tekach, her ex-boyfriend, had left multiple messages on her cellular phone, threatening to kill the magistrate, police officers and himself. The woman has a protection order against Tekach.

Police said Tekach, 36, of Sprucewood Drive, left 30 messages over several hours on Wednesday.

One message said he was going to kill the magistrate when they go to court Monday. Tekach also said he'd kill any township officers who tried to arrest him. He also threatened suicide.

Suspect arrested

Police arrested Tekach on Thursday inside a store in the Austintown Plaza, Mahoning Avenue. He was charged with retaliation and was being held in the Mahoning County Justice Center without bond. Retaliation carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.

Tekach will appear Monday before Judge David D'Apolito of county court here.

Bannon said Friday he has never seen Tekach and has no idea why Tekach would threaten him.

"I'm the guy at the bottom of the order he got served with," Bannon said.

Bannon said Austintown authorities told him to "watch out" until they had Tekach in custody, and perhaps he should think about canceling hearings.

"I told them my hearings were going to get done. People who think they are going to affect hearings [by making threats] will find the only thing they will affect are their own lives," Bannon said.

Other cases

Last week, Kenneth Favors of Youngstown was charged with retaliation after being accused of calling the home of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and threatening to kill the judge and his wife.

Deputies said Favors made the collect calls to the judge's house from the county jail, where he was being held on a charge of breaking and entering.

He also was indicted Thursday on charges of telephone harassment and retaliation.

On April 6, Nora Anthony of Campbell called the common pleas court's assignment office and twice said she would "take out" Judge Maureen A. Sweeney. She also was charged with retaliation.




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