Ex-Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle will stand trial for allegedly threatening to kill a jail deputy after he was denied a phone call in May, a Sedgwick County judge ruled Friday morning.
“On its face it’s real clear what he said. He used the word ‘kill,’ ” District Judge Joe Kisner said, explaining his decision to bind Randle, 24, over for trial on one count of criminal threat, which is a felony.
“Whether … (Randle) actually meant that he was going to kill or not, I don’t think that’s relevant,” Kisner said. “I think the issue is, did he intend to put fear into the deputy’s mind? And I think the evidence supports that.”
The issue is, did he intend to put fear into the deputy’s mind? And I think the evidence supports that.
Sedgwick County District Judge Joe Kisner
Attorneys on Thursday questioned the deputy who reportedly received the threats during one of three preliminary hearings held for Randle in his criminal cases.
On the witness stand, the deputy acknowledged that Randle made the alleged death threats repeatedly over an intercom while Randle was in solitary confinement and didn’t know which deputy he was addressing.
But, the deputy testified, he was scared, in part because he knew he would have face-to-face contact with Randle when he checked on inmates during his shift.
The alleged threats the deputy told of in court include: “I will kill you, I swear on my life and everything that I have I will kill you when I get out,” and “I’m going to kill this (expletive, expletive, racial slur) … if I don’t get to use the phone.”
I will kill you, I swear on my life and everything that I have I will kill you when I get out.
Alleged threat made by Joseph Randle to jail deputy
Randle’s defense attorney, Steven Mank, on Thursday argued that if a person has “no way to commit the violence, it’s a hollow threat.” He had asked Kisner to throw out the case.
Randle on Friday pleaded not guilty to the criminal threat charge and to seven felony charges accusing him of backing into three people with his car and kicking in the door of a Wichita home during a party in February.
He also pleaded not guilty to one count of interfering with law enforcement alleging he ran from police who were trying to serve a felony arrest warrant on him in March.
Randle is scheduled for jury trials in all three cases Sept. 19. But that date could be postponed to give attorneys more time to prepare.
The cases are the latest in a string of legal woes for the former NFL running back and Wichita native since he was released from the Cowboys organization last year.
Randle remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Friday in lieu of $50,000 bond.