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April 17, 2024

Taylorsville inmate sentenced for threatening to kill judge, family, DA


Joel Michael Cliett, 45, of Taylorsville, N.C., was sentenced Sept. 29, 2021, to 30 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for mailing a threatening communication, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina in a press release.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) join Acting U.S. Attorney Stetzer in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents and the Sept. 29 sentencing hearing, on August 21, 2020, Cliett sent a threatening communication via U.S. Mail to a state judge in Gaston County. In the letter, Cliett claimed he was wrongly convicted of a crime, and threatened to kill the state judge, the judge’s family, the District Attorney, and the 12 jurors who convicted him of the crime. Cliett further stated in the letter that, “With enough C-4 I can kill all of you through the mail.” Cliett also boasted in the letter that “There is nothing you can do to me.” Cliett sent the threatening letter while he was incarcerated at the Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, N.C.

Cliett pleaded guilty on May 13, 2021, to mailing a threatening communication. He is currently in federal custody. The sentence of imprisonment was ordered to run consecutive to the North Carolina state sentence he is currently serving associated with his prior state convictions.

The FBI and USPIS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Odulio, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

According to information from the N.C. Dept. of Public Safety, Cliett is currently serving sentences for Attempted First Degree Murder and Assault With A Deadly Weapon With Intent To Kill Inflicting Serious Injury from a December 2011 offense in McDowell County as well as Felony 1st Degree Sexual Offense and Communicating Threats conviction from a November 2000 offense in Gaston County.

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