“He just insulted three pompous judges, and I think they made an example of him.” – Kathy Diamond
North Bergen Internet radio hatemeister Hal Turner will serve rest of his federal sentence in Newark halfway house
Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 3:00 AM
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal The Jersey Journal
North Bergen Internet shock jock Harold “Hal” Turner has been released from an Indiana federal prison where he was serving time for threatening three judges and is heading for a Newark halfway house where he will finish his sentence.
In August 2010, a Brooklyn jury convicted Turner of threatening three federal judges in Chicago through comments and photos on his Internet blog and he was sentenced to 33 months.
He will serve the balance of his term at the halfway house before being released on Oct. 6, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Prisons said yesterday.
At trial, Turner said the FBI approached him in 2003 and persuaded him to be a paid informant on domestic terrorism issues because his hate-filled and racist tirades made him a magnet for hate groups such as the Aryan Nation, Ku Klux Klan and Nazis. His FBI handler also testified at the trial.
Turner was one of 38 prisoners housed in the Communication Management Unit in the Terre Haute prison, where contact with the outside world is severely limited. In a May 2011 letter to The Jersey Journal, Turner said he felt his life was in danger because he had been an FBI informant and was being housed with notorious terrorists.
Turner’s conviction came after his third trial on the charges. The first two trials ended with deadlocked juries. An appeal is pending.
Turner had commented that the judges “deserved to be killed” and other judges must “obey the Constitution or die.” He posted pictures of the Chicago federal building with arrows pointing to car bomb barriers and the windows of the judges’ offices.
Turner had also faced charges in Connecticut alleging he encouraged violence against state lawmakers there, but he was acquitted of those charges after representing himself at trial.
“Oh God, yes, I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Turner’s mother, Kathy Diamond, said yesterday. Asked how Turner was doing based on his last letter, Diamond said: “I think he held it together very well, considering, and I still say what I said from day one, he should never have been arrested, tried and convicted. He just insulted three pompous judges, and I think they made an example of him.”
Diamond said she had a heart attack in May and was on a respirator for eight days. She is now home trying to recuperate sufficiently to undergo bypass surgery. Diamond said she does not know when she will be well enough to go to Newark.
“This has taken a terrible toll on me,” Diamond said. “It has taken a toll on Harold’s whole family, but we will all be together again.”
At the halfway house, Turner will leave each day to work, but he must be back by a certain time each night, the B.O.P. spokeswoman said. He can also be released for medical or educational purposes, she said.