A former Livermore mayoral candidate has been jailed after being charged last week with allegedly threatening to burn down the home of a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge.
Joshua Laine, a U.S. Marines veteran and 2018 mayoral candidate, was charged on July 9 -- one day before his 34th birthday -- with one felony count each of making criminal threats and threatening states officials or judges, according to court documents.
In a criminal complaint, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office said that Laine "did willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to the Honorable Jill Fannin."
Prosecutors allege Fannin "was reasonably in sustained fear of her safety and the safety of her immediate family" over threats Laine recently made on social media that conveyed "a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution."
Laine is accused of posting a comment July 3 in a Facebook group called California Family Advocacy, which contains posts accusing Contra Costa County judges of corruption, and said, "Judges who violate the law get their houses burned down ... just saying," according to the East Bay Times, which first reported the story. Fannin has been the subject over the past year of a recall campaign also aiming to unseat two other Contra Costa County judges who have been accused as well by petitioners of acting in an unlawful and unethical matter.
Laine remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court next Tuesday (July 23) at 9 a.m. in Department 272.
A Livermore native and first-time candidate, Laine was the lone challenger against incumbent Mayor John Marchand in last November's election. Marchand easily won re-election at the polls, with 77.01% of the vote to Laine's 22.13%.
Laine apparently represented himself in a lawsuit against the city of Livermore over an impounded truck, but a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals memorandum from 2017 found no merit to his claim that vehicle registration requirements are unconstitutional, according to Bay City News Service.
Likewise, Laine's claims that the city had violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and that the police officer who towed his truck "committed treason" also were found to have no merit, according to Bay City News Service.
Laine also launched a bid for California governor last June, but did not qualify for the certified list of candidates for the primary election ballot.