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Charges dropped against woman threatening to slash judge’s throat

ST. LOUIS - A 22nd Judicial Circuit Court judge is upset after learning a grand jury met without his knowledge and dropped charges against a woman who allegedly threatened his life.

A public information officer for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court said Judge Jason Sengheiser was not called to testify and was not even told the case was presented to a grand jury.

In November 2017, 57-year-old Valerie Mitchell was accused of showing up to the civil courts building in downtown St. Louis and threatening to cut Judge Sengheiser's throat. Police said they found a box cutter with a six-inch blade in Mitchell's backpack.

At the time, Mitchell was charged with tampering with a judicial officer for the threats and resisting arrest.

The latest court documents filed Wednesday show the case went to a grand jury which dropped the "tampering with a judicial officer" charge, citing "the state has insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction."

Well-placed sources tell Fox 2/ KPLR 11 with the charges dropped, Judge Sengheiser is fearing for his safety.

In the original charging documents, officials said Mitchell began calling the judge and the courthouse with verbal threats after Sengheiser ruled against her in a lawsuit on October 26, 2017. According to court documents, he sided with a credit union, ordering Mitchell to pay more than $17,000 and car payments she owed and to return the car.