A former Hopkins mayoral candidate with a hot temper and a habit of making crass threats has been sentenced to prison for threatening to kill a federal judge in St. Paul.
Robert P. Ivers, 65, of West Fargo, N.D., was sentenced in federal court to 1½ years in prison and three years of supervised release after jurors in September convicted him of threatening to murder U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright and of making the threat across state lines.
Judge Robert Pratt sentenced Ivers last week in St. Paul.
The prosecution argued in a presentencing court filing for a prison term of nearly four years.
The defense contended in court arguments that Ivers was "all talk and no action [and] not a danger to anyone" and that he was merely referring to "what he had been thinking, not about what he was actually going to do."
Ivers was angry with Wright for ruling against him in a lawsuit he had filed in 2015 against an insurance company that had refused to pay him $100,000 as the beneficiary of two policies taken out by a friend. The company won a countersuit to rescind the policies, alleging that they were obtained using "willfully false or intentionally misleading representations about the [insured's] health and ability to work."
Ivers responded with a series of threats directed at Wright. And in a call to Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim's deputy clerk, he described himself as "a walking bomb" and said he was "crazy angry" at her.
In November 2017, Ivers filed another lawsuit restating the claims he lost before Wright. He was referred to two volunteer lawyers. They told Ivers that they doubted the validity of his claims, and Ivers went into a rage. One of the lawyers reported to federal marshals that he had made comments like, "This [expletive] judge stole my life from me" and "stacked the deck" to make sure he lost the case.
"You don't know the 50 different ways I planned to kill her," Ivers allegedly told the attorney. Ivers later repeated some of the comments when confronted by deputy U.S. marshals.
After the lawyer reported the threats Ivers had made, two deputy U.S. marshals visited Ivers in West Fargo. When confronted, Ivers screamed at the deputies that "that [expletive] judge stole my life."
In 2014, Ivers also had sent a series of harassing letters to two Hennepin County judges, referring to them as "pig," "trash" and "garbage."
While running unsuccessfully for mayor of Hopkins in 2016, Ivers sparked outrage during a candidate forum when he referred to people as "ethnics" and "coloreds" and said a proposed light-rail line into town would bring "riffraff and trash from Minneapolis."