A Charlevoix County jury found Jonathon Paul Stewart, 33, Atlanta guilty of making a terroristic threat and malicious use of an electronic communication device.
The trial took two days and the jury deliberated for less than an hour before rendering a verdict.
Three Charlevoix County employees testified that Stewart placed four phone calls to the Charlevoix County building on June 10, 2021, during which he berated and threatened county employees, used obscenities and vulgarities about the employees.
Stewart left a voicemail for one county employee saying, “I guarantee you’re going to want to call a cop because I will be outside waiting for you after work to discuss this with you without a phone in between us.”
In his final phone call of the day, Stewart told a county employee to “put a cop on the phone or I’m going to come down and start shooting,” according to a witness. She testified that later in the call told her numerous times that he was going to come and shoot her.
The employees notified the security officers in the building who took the information from caller ID and were able to identify the call as coming from Stewart’s address in Atlanta. A Montmorency County deputy made contact with Stewart within an hour.
“I want to thank the jurors for their time and consideration with the case,” said Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof, who tried the case for the prosecution.
“I also want to thank the brave women who faced the person who had terrorized them and told the jury about this harrowing experience and what they were put through. One person said she didn’t know if she was going to make it home that night,” Telgenhof said. “No person should ever be made to feel that way for just doing their job.”
“The women promptly got information to law enforcement, they made written statements immediately while the facts were fresh in their mind and police quickly identified the person and made contact to determine whether he was on his way to Charlevoix. Everyone involved in the case did a tremendous job to avoid a greater tragedy, especially our courthouse security officers, Jim Spires and Pete Shrift.”
Stewart will be sentenced at a later date by Judge Thomas G. Power who was assigned the case.
The crime of making a terroristic threat carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, however, Stewart has been convicted of six prior felonies so he will be sentenced as a habitual offender with a maximum penalty of life in prison.
The malicious use of an electronic communication device conviction carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Stewart has been in jail since his arrest in June with his bond set at $200,000.