"I want to be a man and step up," Gordon L. Chadwick, 27, of Spring, said during his sentencing Wednesday. "I just want to say I'm sorry for what I did."
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison told Chadwick that he didn't take the threat on his own life seriously, but that he would step off the case if Chadwick or his attorney, Samy Khalil, thought it was a conflict of interest. Both men said they were happy with Ellison.
While Chadwick was talking to the judge, an unusual number of court security guards stood all around the courtroom, the Houston Chronicle reported in its online edition.
Chadwick is serving a four-year prison term for threatening a Montgomery County jail official. He will serve the federal sentence after completing the state charge.
"This case is truly a case about mental health," Khalil said.
A probation officer told the court that while he sympathized with Chadwick's mental health history, he had to answer for his actions.
His mother, Elly Davis, said that keeping her son on necessary medication was difficult. She also asked the judge for leniency.
Ellison ordered Chadwick to participate in a drug/alcohol dependency program, a mental health program and to get his high school diploma or equivalency when he is on a three-year supervised period after he is released from federal prison.
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