Letter to judge nets state time

A prisoner in the Warren County Jail was sentenced to a state correctional institution after he told two individuals, and sent a letter to a judge, indicating that he intended to kill an employee at the Warren County jail.

Benjamin Joseph Hammond, 20, Warren County Jail, was sentenced to six months to 24 months in a state correctional institution to run concurrent to a previous sentence from Forest County, fined $1,125, and was ordered to undergo a mental health and drug and alcohol evaluation.

Judge Gregory Hammond described his time at the Warren County Jail that included six misconducts and 22 different cell assignments as “abysmal.”

“I’ve never seen a worse report from the Warren County Jail,” Judge Hammond said during sentencing on Friday. “You sent a letter to the judge saying you’re going to kill” a county employee.

Hammond has been incarcerated in the county jail on a probation violation from Forest County.

In a letter addressed to President Judge Maureen Skerda dated last November, the defendant said that if he saw the employee “out walking that he would kill him with a gun” and stated that he would kill the employee “along with anyone who tries to get in his way,” according to the criminal complaint, which also indicates that he told two jail employees of his plan during the same time period.

Judge Hammond said on Friday that the defendant had taken “no steps toward rehabilitation” and his record at the county jail indicated that he was an “extremely poor candidate for rehabilitation.”