Former Livermore mayoral candidate charged with threatening judge

Contra Costa DA alleges Laine made threats on Facebook to burn judge's home

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.

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2 people like this
Posted by Willy
a resident of Old Towne
on Jul 19, 2019 at 9:48 am

Willy is a registered user.

Pure Liberal bull-hit. It was post in jest. The judge is a pure idiot!

7 people like this
Posted by PtownMom
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2019 at 10:07 am

@Willy - unfortunately from his other claims of "unconstitutionality" and "treason," it would appear this gentleman may be mentally ill. Stacked with the burning house comment, the threat could and probably should be taken seriously. I hope he gets the help he needs, especially since he is a Veteran.

6 people like this
Posted by The Dude
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Actually, he sounds like a sovereign citizen. No less nutty, but entertaining listening to their flawed legal justifications.

Like this comment
Posted by Frankie
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jul 28, 2019 at 7:21 pm

Frankie is a registered user.

Dude?? Not sure what your position is on the inappropriateness of a post that is a thinly veiled threat against a judge.
He does sound like he needs therapy and that he is obsessive. AKA a powder keg waiting to explode. There has been so many attacks in public places and against public officials, I do not doubt the judge’s concern given his history.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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