KINGSTON -- Alleged threats made to a district justice in Luzerne County have landed a man behind bars. Frank Kearney of Wilkes-Barre is charged with terroristic threats and harassment.
The municipal building in Kingston is where Magistrate Paul Roberts has his office. Court papers say that Frank Kearney threatened to kill Roberts four times during one phone conversation. Police say it was over some outstanding warrants and fines Kearney had to pay.
Frank Kearney was already wanted by authorities when police in Luzerne County say he threatened to murder Magistrate Paul Roberts.
According to court paper, Kearney made the threats on August 10 when he called the Magistrate's office in Kingston to set up a payment plan. He owed $2,200 in fines for public drunkenness, harassment, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.
According to court documents, he made an appointment to meet with Judge Roberts about the fines. But he called back just a few hours later. Court papers reveal that he told the magistrate's secretary to "cancel the appointment. I'm just going to murder the judge."
Documents show he threatened Magistrate Roberts three more times, promising to kill him by Monday or Tuesday.
Kearney said "The way I figure, it's fair to give the judge a heads up so he has a chance to protect himself."
Police say Kearney also threatened to kill an undercover narcotics detective.
Kearney lives in this apartment building in Wilkes-Barre, where neighbors say they're surprised he'd do something like this.
"I can't believe he did that. Oh, my God, that's twisted. No, I'm surprised. I just know him from sitting out there. He just seemed like a nice guy. That was about it," said Patsy Conlon, of Wilkes-Barre.
""That's not the Frank that I know. He was very polite, generous, family-oriented. I was very shocked to hear that he would make such a threat to a judge because he knows better," said Sarah Cahill, of Wilkes-Barre.
Police say that even though Kearney is accused of threatening to kill Magistrate Roberts, there's no evidence that he actually tried to carry out those threats. Kearney is locked up in Luzerne County.