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updated: 4/30/2014 5:19 PM

Botanist gets 27 months for Chicago threats

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Associated Press

A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago botanist to more than two years in prison for mailing threatening letters to then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, among others.

Richard Hyerczyk was sentenced Wednesday to 27 months in prison. The 54-year-old lichen specialist sent the letters because he was upset Chicago police shot and killed a wild cougar in 2008. He pleaded guilty in January to one count of mailing a threatening communication. He also sent letters to police, schools and religious institutions.

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Hyerczyk was ordered to start his term July 29 followed by three years of supervised release. He also must pay a $10,000 fine.

In one of his letters he told police to "prepare to die like the cougars you killed." The judge cited the "cold-blooded nature" of the threats.

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