Former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate charged with threatening two Lake County judges

A man who ran for Illinois governor in 2018 was taken into custody Thursday and accused of threatening to kill two Lake County judges, authorities said.

Grayson K. Jackson, who also is known as Kash Jackson and Benjamin Winderweedle, 43, of Paris, Arkansas, made the threats Oct. 7, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Covelli.

Covelli said Jackson threatened to kill the two judges during a call to the Lake County Sheriff’s Court Security Office. Both judges presided over an ongoing civil case Jackson was party to, he added.

Immediately after the threats, sheriff’s court security deputies reviewed the incident with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. A warrant for one count of threatening a public official was drafted for Jackson, Covelli said.

The warrant was authorized and entered into the National Crime Information Center database. Bond was set at $500,000, Covelli said.

On Thursday, Jackson was taken into custody without incident in Arkansas by the Logan County Sheriff’s Office. Jackson is in the Logan County Jail pending an extradition hearing.

Additional charges are likely, Covelli said.

Jackson ran on the Libertarian ticket in 2018 and lost in the general election.

“Threatening the life of someone you are upset with, let alone a sitting judge, is inexcusable,” Lake County Sheriff John D. Idleburg said in a news release. “We take our responsibility of maintaining the safety and security of our judiciary seriously and will investigate death threats to a judge, or anyone else, to the fullest extent.”

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the safety of judges and court personnel is paramount.

“It is never ever justified to threaten a public official under any circumstances,” Rinehart said in the release.