A Mohave County man who made death threats against a University of Arizona Mexican American Studies professor will have to serve one year of supervised probation.
Two charges of threatening or intimidating and one of assault were dismissed Tuesday after Randall Leon Thompson, 60, plead guilty to one count of using a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten or harass.
The charges stem from three voicemails left by Thompson in May 2011 at Roberto Rodriguez’s UA office.
The profanity-laced messages included threats to shoot Rodriguez and made references to sending him back to Mexico.
Rodriguez does not know Thompson, nor does he know why Thompson targeted him though he suspected it had to do with his support for Mexican American Studies.
“Defending the department and discipline and asserting my rights as a full human being should not warrant threats to my life,” Rodriguez said in a statement to Pima County Justice of the Peace Keith Bee.
Thompson declined to make a statement to Bee or to the Arizona Daily Star Tuesday.
Bee called the incident “disgusting” and noted that he would reject the plea deal if Rodriguez objected to it, saying “I think you should go to jail.”
Rodriguez, who felt the sentence was “beyond lenient,” said he approved of the deal based on the advice of his attorney, Paul Gattone.
Rodriguez plans to pursue this case federally as he believes that the situation fits the definition of a hate crime.
Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at email@example.com or 573-4175.