Taycheedah Man Charged With Terrorist Threat

Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric J. Toney announced Thursday (6/2/2022) that James R. Stearns has been charged with one count of
Terrorist Threat – Interruption of Government Operations, a Class I felony.

Stearns made an initial court appearance Thursday in Fond du Lac County, where the court ordered $4,0000 cash bond, along with adding a number of conditions, which included no contact with Victim 1, no use of the internet, and no use or possession of dangerous weapons or ammunition.

A request of $10,000 cash bond had been made by the prosecutor.

In the press release, District Attorney Toney stated “Political disagreement is healthy but we will never tolerate threats of violence, whether directed at our schools, students, government, groups, or individuals in our
community. We will seek to hold those accountable that seek to intimidate, create fear or disrupt our communities through threats of violence.”

Stearns was charged based on allegations of the defendant sending two emails at the end of May 2022 threatening to shoot Wisconsin legislators if they passed a bill allowing teachers to be armed with firearms. Stearns is alleged to have sent one email threatening a specific Wisconsin legislator and their family.

One email is alleged to have been sent to a radio host stating:
…Should the lawmakers of the State of Wisconsin ever vote to arm the public school teachers and/or administrators in Wisconsin, the following will happen! James R. Stearns in FDL, WI. Will purchase a gun, the most powerful I can purchase, and go to Madison and shoot as many of the people who vote for this law as I can before someone shoots me. Arming the teachers and administrators would be the worst possible thing our country/state would ever see, and I am more than willing to go down in a blaze of glory. Check me out to see that presently, and the first 72 years of my life, I have never broken a law, or been involved in the legal system in virtually any way. Outside of a few traffic tickets, my record is as clean as anyone walking the street of Wisconsin. Do Not consider this a THREAT, but rather a PROMISE !!!

Stearns is also alleged to have sent a second email to a specific Wisconsin legislator in late May of 2022 threatening the legislator and their family, saying that people would “hunt you down and your family like animals”:
[VICTIM 1] do you not value the lives of your family, yourself and your fellow legislators. If you pass legislation to arm teachers administrators and other staff people in the Wisconsin public schools, you’ll be a dead man in 60 days of passing that legislation. Does this make sense to you. People will hunt you down and your family like animals. This would be the worst and the last legislation you get passed in Wisconsin VICTIM 1. Do you understand what I am saying. Please pass some legislation that
makes guns harder to get for the deranged criminals felons mentally deranged and unstable individuals of Wisconsin. We need no more AR15’s in Wisconsin since they are assault weapons not weapons of protection or hunting weapons. It is one thing to have hand guns and rifles for hunting but assault weapons. You do what you need to but if you do not listen to the citizens of Wisconsin your life will certainly be lost to those Wisconsin citizens. People will hunt you and your family down like an animal. VICTIM 1 do the right thing for Wisconsin citizens. Giving teachers guns is a very bad idea.

This case is being investigated by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office. Stearns was taken into custody on Friday May 27, 2022.