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Man charged with making racist threats against judge

An Independence man is being held without bond after he allegedly made racially charged threats against a Jackson County circuit judge.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office on March 28 charged Michael A. Deblois, 42, with tampering with a judicial officer and first-degree harassment. According to charging documents, Deblois left as many as 17 threatening voicemails with the office of the judge, repeatedly using racial slurs and profanity. He allegedly used similar language when office staff tried to contact him.

The judge, who is described as an African-American woman but isn’t named in the probable cause statement, sought an order of protection against Deblois, saying she feared for the safety of herself and her staff. According to the probable cause statement, Deblois said in one of the voicemails that he had “stalked” the courthouse and “followed people home” over a two-week period.

Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies and a detective investigated the calls and took Deblois into custody the evening of March 28. He is being held without bond. No lawyer was listed for him in online court records.

Valerie Hartman, a spokeswoman for the 16th Judicial Circuit, declined to comment.

The case is State v. Deblois, 2316-CR01323.