The offense of making terroristic threats is often misinterpreted. You don’t need to have a link to a terrorist organization to be charged with this crime as demonstrated recently by the case of a doctor from Georgia who is accused of intimidating her staff.
Dr. Marian Antoinette Patterson was accused of threatening to slit the throats of employees and patients, throwing water on employees and damaging a wall with a hammer at her family practice in Valdosta.
Patterson was charged with three counts of terroristic threats and one count of false imprisonment, reported CBS News.
Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk told news outlets she was arrested in April. Patterson was released from jail on bond after turning herself in.
The charges relate to an alleged incident in February. The family doctor is accused of shouting at employees in her office and threatening to “slit their throats,” on numerous occasions, according to details in a license suspension order from the Georgia Composite Medical Board.
She allegedly threatened to cut one employee’s head off, roll it down a hallway and call the employee’s children so as they could see what happened.
The doctor was accused of making death threats to an employee if they called the police, according to the order. She allegedly grabbed an employee by the arm and refused to let them leave the building.
The license suspension stated Paterson pulled her diploma off the wall, threw it to the floor and stamped on it.
Paulk said Patterson appeared to be suffering from emotional and other issues that began before her alleged outburst in February.
The Offense of Making Terroristic Threats in Georgia
Under Georgia law, the crime of making terroristic threats covers a wide number of activities.
It can include a threat to commit any crime of violence or to burn or damage a property with the purpose of terrorizing another person or to cause the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation.
The penalty for making a terroristic threat is a fine of $1,000 or a prison term of at least one but less than five years.
This case highlights how a career can be wrecked by a violent outburst. There are often mitigating circumstances that lead up to threats of this nature. An experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyer will look for inconsistencies and mitigating circumstances. Call us today at (414) 913-1529.