Louisiana killer Estrade charged in threat

Jan. 13, 2013 at 1:25 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The convicted child killer in a high-profile Louisiana homicide case was arrested for allegedly threatening a former federal prosecutor, the FBI said.

Gerald Estrade, 56, was ordered to appear for arraignment in Baton Rogue Thursday after he allegedly made the threat against former U.S. Attorney Jim Letten last week while undergoing psychiatric treatment at a Baton Rouge hospital.

Estrade allegedly told hospital staff and two FBI agents he held a grudge against Letten and wanted to kill him and his family.

"Estrade stated he has heard voices in his head repeatedly telling him to kill Letten since October 2012," FBI agent Kobey McCall wrote in a court affidavit. "Estrade reiterated to agents that his intent was to kill Letten and Letten's family and then kill himself."

Estrade, who was described as homeless, was convicted of manslaughter in the 1988 beating death of his 10-year-old daughter, Melissa, during an argument. He was released from prison in 1999, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said.

Letten was not involved in Estrade's conviction; however, he and Estrade apparently had a chance encounter in Letten's neighborhood not long after Estrade was freed from prison. Letten has said he was unaware of who he was talking to until after their 10-minute conversation was over, the newspaper said.

Letten declined to comment on Estrade's alleged threats because the defendant was under indictment.

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