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D.A. reviews case of man who allegedly threatened Sheriff Clarke

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The man accused of threatening Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke via an email is out of jail -- but not yet out of trouble. He's waiting to see if the district attorney will file charges.

"It's a criminal act. I expect him to be charged," said Sheriff Clarke.

Clarke is not mincing his words after receiving what he calls a threat. He expects the district attorney will act.

The email sent directly to the sheriff reads: "You lousy Uncle Tom piece of (expletive). I wish to hell somebody would shoot you. And what's with that stupid hat? When people call you a dumb (expletive), I don't disagree at all."

The man accused of writing those words was picked up by authorities on Tuesday, March 5th. He was released from the Milwaukee County Jail later that night after posting $200 bond.

Court records show the man previously spent ten days in jail after being convicted of making threats with a telephone in 2008. One legal expert says using email is likely to get the same of kind of punishment.

"It is absolutely a crime to intimidate or frighten somebody by using profane language," said defense attorney Jonathan LaVoy.

LaVoy says this case could fall under Wisconsin's statute of unlawful use of a computerized communication system.

"Reviewing the email that was sent I think one could argue that it was with the intent to frighten or intimidate," said LaVoy.

Sheriff Clarke hopes the district attorney will add a hate crime enhancer -- a move that could add years to a sentence. It's a move LaVoy says is unlikely.

"The state would have to prove this individual targeted Sheriff Clarke because he is African-American. Based on my review of this, this does not appear to be the situation," said LaVoy.

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