Former Libertarian candidate for governor charged with threatening Lake County judges

  • Grayson Jackson

    Grayson Jackson

Daily Herald report
Updated 10/15/2021 3:53 PM

A man who ran for Illinois governor in 2018 was taken into custody Thursday in Arkansas and accused of threatening to kill two Lake County judges, authorities said.

Grayson K. Jackson, who also is known as Kash Jackson and Benjamin Winderweedle, 43, of Paris, Arkansas, is accused of making the threats Oct. 7, according to Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Chris Covelli.


Covelli said Jackson threatened to kill the two judges during a call to the Lake County Sheriff's Court Security Office. Both judges presided over an ongoing civil case Jackson was party to, Covelli said.

Immediately after the threats, Sheriff's Court security deputies reviewed the incident with representatives of the Lake County State's Attorney's Office. A warrant for one count of threatening a public official was drafted for Jackson, Covelli said.

The warrant was authorized and entered into the National Crime Information Center database. Bond was set at $500,000, according to Covelli.

On Thursday, Jackson was taken into custody without incident in Arkansas by the Logan County Sheriff's Office. Jackson is in the Logan County Jail pending an extradition hearing.

Additional charges are likely, Covelli said.

Jackson, a retired U.S. Navy officer then living in Antioch, ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2018 and lost in the general election.

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"Threatening the life of someone you are upset with, let alone a sitting judge, is inexcusable," Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg said in a news release.

"We take our responsibility of maintaining the safety and security of our judiciary seriously, and will investigate death threats to a judge, or anyone else, to the fullest extent," he added.

Lake County State's Attorney Eric Rinehart said the safety of judges and court personnel is paramount.

"It is never, ever justified to threaten a public official under any circumstances," Rinehart said in the release.

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