AUSTIN -- A man has been arrested after making more than 30 calls to a Travis County judge and threatening to harm her and her children.
Karl Schmunk is currently in the Travis County Jail. An arrest affidavit reveals he made more than 30 calls over a two-week period to Travis County Judge Elizabeth Earle. In one of the messages he said, "And there's no doubt about it. I'm going to chop your kids up. I'll chop y'all up and everything else."
Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff's Office says Schmunk was arrested in Dallas and brought back to Travis County.
"It's not really all that common. But when it does happen, we have to take it seriously, and we have to take measures to make sure this person doesn't do anything to carry out those threats," said Wade.
Travis County Senior District Judge Jon Wisser says he has handled such cases and has been threatened himself.
"I would say in my almost 40 years in this courthouse, I've received less than half a dozen serious threats. And you consider the fact that I've probably sent an excess of 10,000 to prison. That I've gotten fewer than half a dozen threats shows it's not a massive problem, though it can be of concern," said Wisser.
In the case judge Earle handled, Schmunk faced a misdemeanor charge for making 100 harassing calls to a state office in Dallas over his DWI arrest.
"There are countries in this hemisphere where judges are constantly being threatened and intimidated and let prisoners out of jail because of fears of their personal safety. We certainly don't want to end up like that here," said Wisser.
Schmunk is now charged with retaliation, a 3rd degree felony. It's punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.