FBI: Man threatened to kill accuser, Hurlbert
DENVER -- A California man charged with making profanity-laced death threats against Kobe Bryant's accuser and the prosecutor in the sexual assault case was ordered held without bail Friday.
Cedric Augustine, 37, of Long Beach, Calif., was arrested by police and federal agents Thursday.
A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled Friday that Augustine will be detained until at least Tuesday, when another hearing will be held on whether he should be granted bail.
A Denver grand jury indicted Augustine on Wednesday on 26 counts of making interstate threats involving use of fire and explosives, making interstate threats with intent to extort, making interstate threats and sending threats through the mail.
The threats, which referred to gangs including the Mexican Mafia and South Santa Ana Blood Killers, began July 18, the day Bryant was charged, and continued through mid-November, the indictment said.
Threats were either phoned in or sent by letter to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert's office or to the Eagle County courthouse, the indictment said.
Bryant, 25, is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado mountain resort where he stayed last June. He has said the two had consensual sex.
In a July 18 phone message left at Hurlbert's office, Augustine allegedly said, "Anything happens to Kobe, something will happen to you. We will hunt you down."
The next day, Augustine left a telephone message in which he threatened to shoot Bryant's accuser, prosecutors said. On Sept. 18, he allegedly sent a letter to Hurlbert stating, "We are coming to kill her and her family."
Augustine, who faces a March 15 court appearance in Denver, is the third person arrested for allegedly making threats in the high-profile case.
John Roche Jr., a 22-year-old former college student from Iowa, pleaded guilty to leaving a profanity-laced death threat in July on the accuser's answering machine. He faces up to five years in prison. Swiss national Patrick Graber, 31, is accused of offering to kill Bryant's accuser for $3 million. He remains in custody awaiting trial.
Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said she could not comment on the alleged threats, but said she has been talking with the alleged victim and her family.
"Under the circumstances, she's holding up remarkably well," she said Friday.
FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin said authorities hope the investigation will "dissuade others from similar behavior."
Fifteen of the counts against Augustine each carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Three counts each carry maximum penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; seven counts each carry maximum penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, U.S. Attorney John Suthers said.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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