The McCurtain Gazette last week received an anonymous extortion letter, demanding that Chris Willingham drop his lawsuit against the sheriff’s department or else.
“I understand that you have a slander suit against Sheriff Kevin Clardy and his Captain Alicia Manning. If you do not dismiss that suit. I am going to go public.”
The writer threatened to make public false and defamatory statements. For instance, the writer said (he or she) had been friends with Bryan Nicholson, though the writer misspelled his name, and claimed that the writer had witnessed Nicholson raping Chris Willingham, a complete fabrication.
“I will be in touch with others to make sure you rectify the destruction you have caused in the lives of others, specifically Kevin Clardy, Alicia manning and Mike Manning.
“I will disseminate the full story of events to the public, including the details of the rapes committed by Brian (sic) Nicholson, and Jimmy Earnhart, and your involvement as well (the letter was written to Bruce Willingham). I will also forward a copy of the details to the sheriff’s attorney.”
As extortion by use of the mail is a federal offense, the newspaper is forwarding the letter and envelope to federal authorities.
Making threats by mail is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.