Man who sent Lecter photo to judge to go on trial

The Prince George Citizen - - SCIENCE -

MONESSEN, Pa. (AP) — A Penn­syl­va­nia man has been or­dered to stand trial on charges he threat­ened a judge by send­ing her a let­ter in­clud­ing a pic­ture of movie can­ni­bal Han­ni­bal Lecter.

Gregg Tchirkow, of Monessen, claimed at Thurs­day’s pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing that the pic­ture was a “cry for help” and a way to tell the court he needed psy­chi­atric help when tran­si­tion­ing from prison to free­dom. Lecter is the crim­i­nally in­sane psy­chi­a­trist who helps an FBI agent track a se­rial killer in the film The Si­lence of the Lambs.

West­more­land County Judge Mea­gan Bi­lik-De­fazio sent Tchirkow to prison for 18 to 36 months in 2015 for grow­ing mar­i­juana in his home. Pros­e­cu­tors con­tend the let­ter was sent in re­tal­i­a­tion and to ter­ror­ize the judge.

Tchirkow, act­ing as his own at­tor­ney dur­ing a two-hour hear­ing, called charges of re­tal­i­a­tion, stalk­ing and ter­ror­is­tic threats “ridicu­lously friv­o­lous” but couldn’t per­suade the dis­trict judge who heard that case that he meant no harm with the let­ter he sent to Bi­likDe­fazio from state prison in July.

Tchirkow promised to fight the charges, say­ing he knew he was “doomed from the be­gin­ning” be­cause a judge is the al­leged vic­tim.

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