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Trial date set for inmate alleged to have threatened judge

Inmate made death threats if he were he required to serve his maximum sentence
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LANSING, Mich. – A trial date has been set for a man currently incarcerated at Carson City Correctional Facility, who is alleged to have threatened the judge who sentenced him in 2016, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

The trial will begin Oct. 30 in front of visiting Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John McBain.  

Christopher Shenberger, 43, of White Lake, is currently serving a 75- to 180-month prison sentence.

Shenberger is alleged to have sent a threatening letter to Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuk in December 2021. 

In the letter, Shenberger complained about potentially being denied parole for not completing a required sex offender program while incarcerated.

The letter addressed the judge by using obscenities in place of her full name, the Attorney General's office said in a news release.

Shenberger allegedly wrote that were he required to serve his maximum sentence, he would put “everyone’s name on that docket” on a slip of paper and it will “go into a jar or whatever and who’s ever name [is picked] up will be killed plain and simple.”  

“Attacks and threats against our judges or courts are unacceptable anywhere justice and public safety are valued,” Nessel said.

“Revenge threats over an old conviction, that’s a real fear for some prosecutors and judges, and will be robustly prosecuted.” 

Shenberger is now charged in Ingham County 30th Circuit Court with one count of communicating a false threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony.  

Because Judge Draganchuk serves in Ingham County, the case has been referred to the Department of Attorney General for investigation and prosecution.  

The Attorney General's news release noted that a criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.