Threats land man in prison for 6 yearsPublished 12:00am Sunday, July 27, 2014
A Pedro man who claimed he was wrongfully persecuted against by law enforcement and made multiple threatening calls to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office was found guilty after a two-day jury trial in common pleas court.
Ronald Koster, 66, of 357 County Road 16, was found guilty of two third-degree counts of retaliation and one misdemeanor count of aggravated menacing.
The charges landed Koster in prison for six years.
The jury, who heard recordings of Koster’s rant-filled calls to the sheriff’s office, deliberated two hours on Friday before returning the verdict.
Koster called the sheriff’s office seven times on March 6 and 7, specifically threatening Detective Aaron Bollinger and Sgt. Randy Goodall, both of whom previously dealt with Koster over the years.
“I’ve done prison time behind your lies … you tell them that I am not done,” Koster said in the recording. “The war in not over. Kiss my [expletive].
The rants in March seemed to stem from Koster’s arrest and conviction back in 2010 for using weapons while intoxicated. Goodall was the arresting officer.
Koster was soon after charged with retaliation for threatening Goodall.
Koster was sentenced to probation, which he violated in 2011, resulting in the man being sent to prison. When he was arrested, Bollinger assisted the probation department in confiscating firearms parts and ammunition from the man’s home.
“He was so fixated on Bollinger and Goodall for what they had ‘done to him,’” Jeff Smith, assistant prosecuting attorney, said.
According to the recordings of the phone calls, Koster made references to where both Bollinger and Goodall lived and tried to get law enforcement to come to his home or meet him at other locations.
“Anytime he (Bollinger) wants to face off, take 20 steps turn and fire, I’m all for it,” Koster said in the recording, adding that following that encounter, he and Bollinger were “going to skip through the front gates of Hell hand-in-hand.”
The man also threatened the community at large, saying, “I want everyone to know I hate Jesus and I am planning to kill people.”
When asked by a dispatcher how he would follow through with that threat, Koster replied, “I can build a machine gun quicker than you can wipe your [expletive].”
Koster also claimed if he had a nuclear bomb he would, “push the button and blow up the world.”
The aggravated menacing charge stemmed from Koster threatening to kill a gas station clerk where he stopped to fill his vehicle shortly before he was arrested.
At sentencing, Warren Morford, Koster’s attorney, said although the recordings were filled with insults and bad language, Koster had “no ability to wage mass murder,” and that no weapons were found.
Judge D. Scott Bowling did not agree that the threats were hollow.
“I think you pose a serious threat to everyone in this room and everyone in this county,” Bowling said, handing out consecutive sentences for the charges.
“I think it is more than justified in consecutive terms.”
Each third-degree felony charge earned Koster three years in prison, for a total of six.
The menacing count added 180 days in the county jail.
Morford indicated Koster wanted to appeal the decision.