Eric Brandt, longtime Denver activist, pleads guilty in judge threats case

A longtime Denver activist pleaded guilty this week to three felonies in connection with threatening actions he took against a judge.

Eric Brandt, 49, who has protested against police and the court system for years, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted retaliation against a judge stemming from a December 2019 incident in which Brandt called a Denver judge’s courtroom and said the judge should be “violently murdered,” according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s my prayer that some (expletive) actually does it,” he said during the phone call, which was broadcast on YouTube. “Kill, kill, kill, all judges should die.”

Brandt also called for a protest at the judge’s home, mentioned visiting the judge’s parent’s home and said the judge would “look best hanging from a tree,” according to the district attorney’s office.

Brandt has a long history of confrontations with police and activism against the justice system across the Front Range.

In 2015, Brandt and another man were charged with felony jury tampering after they set up a booth with a sign that said “Juror Info” outside Denver’s Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse and passed out literature encouraging jury nullification — a practice in which a jury can reach a not guilty verdict because jurors believe a law is immoral or wrongly applied.

They were cleared of all wrongdoing in that case.

In the most recent case, Brandt’s actions came after two of his associates were arrested Dec. 18, 2019, at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse. The associates were part of a group of protesters who gathered to support another protester who had an appearance in court that day.

The Denver Sheriff Department removed the protesters after saying they’d disrupted the court’s proceedings by yelling, intimidating and screaming at people going in and out of the courtroom, including potential jurors. Brandt’s two associates, who were members of Occupy Denver, were arrested for trespassing after they refused to leave.

Brandt made the threatening phone call to the judge’s courtroom about an hour after his associates were arrested.

As part of Tuesday’s plea agreement, Brandt also pleaded guilty to harassment charges in Jefferson County and Adams County in connection with harassment against two judges, a judicial assistant and a sheriff’s deputy, according to the district attorney’s office, and two other cases in Jefferson County were dismissed.

In those dismissed cases, Brandt was charged with obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct and harassment.

He faces between one and six years in prison on each of the felony counts, and will be sentenced Tuesday, according to the district attorney’s office.

Brandt and his attorneys could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

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