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Appeals court upholds conviction of a man who threatened to kill a family court judge — in a song on YouTube

Jeffries in his YouTube video.

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati upheld the conviction of a divorced Tennessee dad with the unlikely name of Franklin Delano Jeffries II who, in the midst of a custody battle, decided to post a YouTube video of himself singing a song with the sweet title “Daughter’s Love.”

The problem was that only a small portion of the song was actually about daughters and love; the rest was about Mr. Jeffries’ apparent desire to kill the judge overseeing the custody hearings, and possibly others.

As the appeals court judge put it:

The song contains sweet passages about relationships between fathers and daughters and the importance of spending time together. The rest boils into an assortment of the banal (complaints about his ex-wife), the ranting (gripes about lawyers and the legal system) and the menacing (threats to kill the judge if he doesn’t “do the right thing” at an upcoming custody hearing). Jeffries set the words to music and created a video of himself performing the song on a guitar painted with an American flag on it. The style is part country, part rap, sometimes on key, and surely therapeutic. 

Here are the song’s opening verses:

I’ve had enough of this abuse from you.

It has been goin’ on for 13 years.

I have been to war and killed a man.

I don’t care if I go to jail for 2,000 years.

’Cause this is my daughter we’re talkin’ about,

And when I come to court this better be the last time.

I’m not kidding at all, I’m making this video public

’Cause if I have to kill a judge or a lawyer or a woman I don’t care.

One of Jeffries’ lawyers told the Wall Street Journal that this was all a misunderstood attempt at humor and that his client “never dreamed this message would get back to the judge,” a fact seemingly belied by that whole “I’m not kidding at all” line and the bit that followed about making the video public.

He followed this threat with a brief tribute to his daughter:

I love you; daughters are the beautiful things in my life.

It keeps me going and keeps me alive everyday.

And then it was back to threats (I’ve put the direct threats in bold):

I’m not kidding, judge, you better listen to me.

I killed a man downrange in war.

I have nothing against you, but I’m tellin’ you this better be the last court date. …

So I promise you, judge, I will kill a man.

This time better be the last time I end up in court …

And this s___ needs to stop because you’re gonna lose your job.

And I guarantee you, if you don’t stop, I’ll kill you.

’Cause I am gonna make a point either way you look at it somebody’s gotta pay,

And I’m telling you right now live on the Internet.

So put me in jail and make a big scene. …

So I’m gonna f___ somebody up, and I’m going back to war in my head.

So July the 14th is the last time I’m goin’ to court.

Believe that. Believe that, or I’ll come after you after court. Believe that.

I love my daughter.

Nobody’s going take her away from me.

’Cause I got four years left to make her into an adult.

I got four years left until she’s eighteen.

So stop this s___ because I’m getting tired of you,

And I don’t care if everybody sees this Internet site

Because it is the truth and it’s war. …

If fathers don’t have rights or women don’t have their rights or equal visitation,

Get their ass out of office.

’Cause you don’t deserve to be a judge and you don’t deserve to live.

You don’t deserve to live in my book.

And you’re gonna get some crazy guy like me after your ass.

And I hope I encourage other dads to go out there and put bombs in their goddamn cars.

Blow ’em up …

BOOM!

There went your f___in’ car. I can shoot you. I can kill you. I can

f___ you. Be my friend. Do something right. Serve my daughter.

Well, prosecutors took him up on that offer to “put [him] in jail,” and a jury agreed; Jeffries was sentenced to 18 months for his threats. And now the conviction has been upheld in Circuit Court.

You can read  rest of the lyrics and the judge’s opinion here. (It’s in pdf form.)

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Amnesia
Amnesia
8 years ago

I recall one of my mom’s friends also not being able to get custody or visitation because the ex-husband was loaded.
It wasn’t until one of the social service workers asked one of the kids to draw what home life was like with their father and zie drew a bong that things started working out in her favor. Pretty sure she didn’t resort to singing death threats about the judge.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

@Cloudiah, the stuff is so incredibly common here that I’d always assumed it was everywhere else, too. It was only last year that I found out it’s essentially only consumed in Canada, especially Western Canada. The More You Know!

I get why it’s not terribly popular anywhere else, though. If I hadn’t been raised on it, I probably wouldn’t have any interest in a clam-and-tomato beverage. Horrifying in concept, delicious in execution!

katz
8 years ago

It wasn’t until one of the social service workers asked one of the kids to draw what home life was like with their father and zie drew a bong

Awesome kid is awesome.

leftwingfox
8 years ago

I had no idea Caesars were a Canadian thing. I knew the Vodka Slime was a strictly Alberta phenomenon, but never knew the Caesar was local too.

My dad and uncle used to drink Coors Light and Clamato. They called them “Bloody Bullets”. I love the scent of beer, Clamato and Doritos together. Reminds me of Dad. 🙂

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Vodka Slime is an Alberta thing??? Really? I mean, I hate those, but they’re such a generic sweet vodka drink I assumed they were everywhere! Apparently we have all the weird local drinks. I wonder if everyone else has weird local drinks o_O.

Caesars are more popular here than anywhere else in the country. The drink was invented in Calgary, in what eventually became the Westin.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I get why it’s not terribly popular anywhere else, though. If I hadn’t been raised on it, I probably wouldn’t have any interest in a clam-and-tomato beverage. Horrifying in concept, delicious in execution!

I have never heard of such a drink. Clams and tomatoes? I don’t know about that.

My favorite drink in the 90’s was a Zima with a Jolly Rancher dropped in. XD If I make a mixed drink now, it’s just using one of those Mojito mixes and Admiral Nelson rum. Or I’ll mix Sunny Delight and tequila. My first preference is still beer, though.

Wetherby
Wetherby
8 years ago

My first preference is still beer, though.

That’s just brought back happy memories of this brilliant ad:

Wetherby
Wetherby
8 years ago

Sorry about that – I thought YouTube videos embedded automatically?

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Youtube video embeddings are minions of the Blockquote Empire, sometimes they refuse to work. Just not as often as blockquotes.

katz
8 years ago

Whetherby, you used HTTPS. It has to be HTTP.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

And yet, Owly still won’t get it. Sure, Karen didn’t make death threats despite being in a much worse situation. But, in Owly’s mind, women are all evil sluts who are just trying to manipulate men, so it would somehow be evil for her to make a death threat when it’s okay for a man to do the same even when his circumstances aren’t nearly as bad. And something about wearing clothes like female animals in heat and women crying in the streets so men will throw money at them.

NWO probably would just applaud a man like Karen’s (ex)husband for what they did and say something about millions of dollars in child support, argelbargle, misandry, free birth control, argelbargle, fart.

On much more pleasant topics, Argenti, I’m someone who almost always prefers beer, but when it comes to mixed drinks, I’m a fan of tequilla in orange juice. Not sure if there’s an actual name for that, but it’s pretty good IMO. Also, I’m of the opinion that hard cider is better cold, but not bad room temperature if it’s a decent brand. I can’t really stomach most liquors aside from tequilla anymore, but when I could, amaretto was a nice go to for me, to me it tastes pretty good straight, but is also good in coffee or with a sour mix. A lot of folks make fun of me that a chocolate cake shot is the only shot I can really do anymore (biting into a sugared lemon wedge just after the shot of amaretto) but it’s delicious!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

I will pass on the clam juice, I don’t do seafood in general (and yeah, I’m in the states, so idk if I could even find it). Kahula works at room temp? I’d have figured it was milk based and needed to be cold, hmm…

Thanks for the ideas guys!

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

*Kahluah — spelling, I can haz it!

I may end up going with my vodka and mango juice, since I’m pretty sure no one is going to touch mango juice (particularly not my father, since mango = exotic = bad, because he really is that much of an asshole)

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Oh, we’re doing drinks now? 😀

For mixed drinks, I usually try to stick to a one clear/one opaque drink rule, because i’ve always thought that it worked better than other combos for some reason. 😛 My drink of choice, therefore, is either vodka and coke, or Southern Comfort and lemonade.

Halite
8 years ago

Kahluah works at any temperature! (I like it in my coffee, too. Also that Starbuck’s brand coffee liqeur. Liquere? Spelling, how does it work?)

Bailiey’s is cream based, and it can be kept in the cupboard, Both Mr H and my mom do, though they prefer to keep it in their bellies!

I had no idea the Vodka Slime was a Calgary thing, that’s very cool to know. I do know about Cesar’s though. Mr H drinks them like they’re going out of style, wheras I think they look and smell nasty. Doesn’t stop me from licking the celery salt off his glass rim, though. (Clam+tomato? Gross, for realz).

Have you heard of the “Alberta Red Eye”? Supposedly beer+clamato, but I think that one is consumed mainly in anecdote.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Caesars are probably my favourite mixed drink, but if I want something sweeter I’ll go for a gin and tonic. Drink more wine than mixed drinks, though. This is a fun topic!

leftwingfox
8 years ago

Halite: I can attest that the Alberta Red Eye is a real drink, and I am directly related to people who actually like it (the “Bloody Bullet” variation noted above)

I have yet to find a bar outside Alberta that knows what a Vodka Slime is, despite being _the_ college drink of choice back in 1996 or so.

Not sure why “Clam and Tomato” is throwing people. “Manhattan” Clam chowder is tomato-based, rather than cream based.

My personal drinks are Pale Ales (Old Speckled Hen especially), and Gin and Tonic. Hard liquor alone does not agree with my stomach. =(

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

LOL at the Aldi’s tea ad!

But yes, I like beer, and my favorite is the classic, Bud Light. Someday I want to go on a tour of the Anheiser Busch brewery and see the clydesdales.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Old Speckled Hen

That was one of my dad’s favourites! He was a big fan of ales.

katz
8 years ago

It’s not clam and tomato that seems odd (I thought of Manhattan clam chowder too), it’s clam beverage.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

But yes, I like beer, and my favorite is the classic, Bud Light. Someday I want to go on a tour of the Anheiser Busch brewery and see the clydesdales.

Budweiser Clydesdales! I love Clydesdales, they are adorbz. My parents have Amish neighbors who have a few Clydesadales and I’ve no idea why, but the Clydesdales appeal to me most out of all their horses.

True story, a friend of mine cried when we first saw this commercial air during the 2006 superbowl. *crosses fingers that vid embeds*

http://youtu.be/veQAJ4qlltU

Halite
8 years ago

@Leftwingfox
That’s seriously nasty (according my personal taste buds, YMMV, of course). I was so hopeful that one was an urban legend. Isn’t there a version of that with an egg in it, or am I misremembering?

For beers, I love darker ones – brown and scotch ales and all the stout I can carry. If anyone is in the YYC area, I can’t reccomend Wild Rose Brewery http://www.wildrosebrewery.com/ enough. All of their brews are amazeballs, and their food is super duper good too. (Goat cheese appetizer, and mac n cheese entree FTW). You can buy bottles, but they’re hard to come by outside of Alberta. (And don’t even *try* ordering that shit in Saskatoon. If looks could kill …) They also do seasonal brews which are fantastic. I didn’t get to enjoy their summer brew this year – AF23 Pale Ale (orangey!) – but I should be un-pregnant just in time to enjoy their Nocturnale winter brew!

@ TheBionicMommy
The Busch Clydesdales come to the Calgary Stampede every year. They are just as wonderous in person as you could hope for! I love love love the heavy horse tent and events 🙂

katz
8 years ago

Mmm, beer is good! I like white ales! And red ales! And brown ales! And stouts!…I just like beer.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Wow. I’d noticed that there were a lot of Canadians in this group, but holy cow, I had no idea so many of us Albertans hung out here.

My dad took to Warthog ale in a big, big way when Big Rock first started shipping across Alberta. (Not much of a beer drinker, my own self.)

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

@ostara, wow that commercial was so sweet. That right there is a crowning moment of heartwarming.

I love the one about the end of prohibition, too.

AbsintheDexterous
8 years ago

I’m fond of Malibu – Malibu pineapple and cranberry is awesome, Malibu passion fruit and Five Alive is good too (don’t know if they have that where you are, though). Malibu pineapple and mango juice works too. Tequila, OJ and cherry is pretty tasty, but it looks awful.

KittehServant
KittehServant
8 years ago

That Clydesdale Budweiser ad is adorable! Foster’s used to do ads with Clydes out here, but they were nowhere near that inventive.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

I’m partial to vodka on ice, myself.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

@bionicmommy, AH the horses jump up in celebration at the end! Squee! So cute.

Random, but is your name from Marc Brown’s Arthur series, in which there’s “The Bionic Bunny Show”? Or am I just someone who watched and read so much Arthur when I was younger?

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Random, but is your name from Marc Brown’s Arthur series, in which there’s “The Bionic Bunny Show”? Or am I just someone who watched and read so much Arthur when I was younger?

No, I’d never heard of that show. I got the name from the 70’s TV show, The Bionic Woman. I thought it was kind of funny to mix something as exciting as using bionic implants to get super powers with something mundane like being a mom. I also thought it was funny that the MRA’s use the term “fembots”, and fembots were villians on that show.

My husband knew the reference, so when he saw my moniker, he said he is the “Six Million Dollar Daddy”.

ostara321
ostara321
8 years ago

Neat! I’d never heard of the Bionic Woman – it sounds interesting. I shall have to wikipedia it.

Now I’m wondering if Marc Brown was alluding to The Bionic Woman. Hmm.

Ronnie Gerber
Ronnie Gerber
8 years ago

God damn what a shitty site for forever alone fatasses who love anime and cats, yet feel they are smarter than everybody else. Get back on topic, fatties.