The Orange County man who made several, wild threatening calls to the FBI last year won't be heading to prison because officials believe the defendant suffers from mental health issues.
This week inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Court Josephine Staton Tucker ordered Thomas Troy Bitter sentenced to six months already served after his May arrest and three years of future supervision.
Before sentencing, federal prosecutor Joseph T. McNally told Tucker that a lengthy prison trip was unnecessary after an investigation concluded Bitter, a Mission Viejo resident and restaurant waiter with a long history of substance abuse, had not intended to carry out his physical threats.
Bitter, 32, also called Steven Martinez, the assistant director of the FBI in Los Angeles, as well as Andrew Arena, a Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, to leave messages that he wanted “to slap the fucking taste out” of their mouths and advise them that Slotter “is a fucking bitch.”
He concluded with a question: “Have I made myself clear to you stupid motherfuckers?”
According to McNally's report to the judge, Bitter made the calls after hearing a nonexistent agent whispering in his head and fully cooperated with the Santa Ana field office FBI agents who showed up at his house for questioning.
The defendant has been receiving mental health help and, because of this felony conviction, thankfully won't be allowed to possess weapons.
Government officials say they hope the six months of incarceration is enough deterrent to prevent someone in the future from speaking to FBI agents in a similar fashion.
R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.