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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.