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updated: 7/10/2018 4:02 PM

California man gets 6 years but already freed after threatening to 'light up' courthouse

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  • Daniel Pederson, 36, of Calabasas, California, who threatened to "light up" the Lake County courthouse and Gurnee police station in 2014, was sentenced to six years in prison.

    Daniel Pederson, 36, of Calabasas, California, who threatened to "light up" the Lake County courthouse and Gurnee police station in 2014, was sentenced to six years in prison.

 
 

A California man who threatened to "light up" the Lake County courthouse and Gurnee police station in 2014 was sentenced to six years in prison.

Daniel Pederson, 36, of Calabasas was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections after serving one day due to credit for time spent in custody while awaiting completion of the court case.

Lake County Judge Mark Levitt sentenced Pederson on June 27, Assistant State's Attorney Lauren Callinan said. Under Illinois law, Pederson was required to serve only 50 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Pederson also received credit for time served in the county jail and a Department of Health facility in Elgin.

According to the Department of Corrections, Pederson arrived at and was discharged from prison July 3. He is on parole until 2021.

Pederson was facing up to 30 years in prison after a jury convicted him in March 2016 of making a terrorist threat to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He told the operator he was "going to light up the Lake County courthouse and the Gurnee Police Department" after his driver's license was suspended in California for falling behind on child support, authorities said.

Pederson was initially due to be sentenced one month later, but the sentencing hearing was delayed after Levitt deemed him mentally unfit for loudly arguing with his attorneys, witnesses and the judge. Pederson was sent to the Elgin facility.

About 18 months later, Pederson was again deemed mentally fit to continue with the court proceedings. He was granted permission to serve as his own attorney during the sentencing hearing.

After delays to get up to speed on legal issues, sentencing concluded June 27.

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