DA files charges in connection with threats against lawmakers - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Woman faces charges in threatening emails to lawmakers

Katherine Windels / October 2004 Katherine Windels / October 2004

MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities say 26-year-old Katherine Windels sent disturbing emails to 16 Republican senators, repeatedly threatening to kill them.

Windels, of Cross Plains, faces four charges including using a computer to send a threat and creating a bomb scare.

Two of the counts are felonies, two are misdemeanors. The criminal complaint says the emails were sent on March 9, the same day senate Republicans passed the revised budget repair bill with no Democrats present.

According to the complaint, Windels told the senators "you will be killed and your families [sic] will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks." She threatened to "put a nice little bullet in your head," and made reference to several bombs.

Investigators visited Windels at her home the next day. According to the complaint, she told them she had sent the emails, and did so because she was very angry about what the senators had done. She also said she didn't intend to carry out the threats, and was not arrested.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed the charges Thursday. He says "it's odd" law enforcement never took Windels into custody.

"The reality is, the person was not placed into custody, so at some point, law enforcement didn't see the person as an imminent threat," Ozanne said. "It's not that the case was not serious or taken seriously by law enforcement or by this office."

This morning, the Justice Department sent a letter to the media, saying it was concerned about the "lack of action" on the case by the D.A.'s office. The Justice Department had referred the case to Ozanne two weeks prior.

Ozanne says his office filed charges in an appropriate amount of time.

"The file was reviewed as quickly as possible," he said.

He declined to comment on whether the letter could be the result of mounting tensions between his office, and the Justice Department. The two are pitted against each other in the lawsuit against the Governor's budget repair bill.

Windels is not in custody. The D.A.'s office says she won't be arrested.

The district attorney's office said Friday morning, the 26-year-old will now make her initial appearance Thursday, April 21.

If convicted on all counts, she could face up to seven years, six months in prison.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Dane County District Attorney has filed charges in connection with threats against state lawmakers.

Katherine Windels, of Cross Plains, 26, faces four counts including a computer message threat and bomb scare.

Two are felony and two are misdemeanor charges.

The threats, made against Republican state senators and possibly others according to authorities, led to tighter capitol security earlier this month, when thousands protested the passage of collective bargaining limits and demanded more access to the building.


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