Inmate convicted of anthrax hoax

A convicted murderer in Hagerstown, Maryland, was recently sentenced to five more years in prison for sending a powder-filled envelope to a former judge who had once been the target of a mail bomb.

Robert Turner, a North Branch Correctional Institution inmate who recently cut off part of his own ear, was found guilty by a Washington County Circuit Court jury of sending the letter to former Judge John Corderman in November or December of 2008, reports.

Corderman was the victim of a pipe bomb explosion in December 1989, reports. The device was been mailed to his residence.

Turner testified that he had indeed sent the envelope filled with Tylenol that had been crushed into a powder, but claimed he had not done so to frighten the judge. He said he only wanted to bring attention to a motion to modify his 50-year sentence for first-degree murder.

"I figured he'd press charges, and I'd finally talk to someone from the public defender's office," Turner said in court, according to

In the accompanying letter to Judge Corderman, Turner wrote, according to, “Inhale deeply, Jean, the pipe bomb did not get you. This will."

Corderman testified that the letter scared him at first, since he believed it could be anthrax, but that he changed his mind when he saw the return address with Turner’s name, inmate number and the correctional facility’s name.

“Maryland’s correctional system might have some security problems, but I don't think weaponized anthrax would be easy to come by," Corderman testified, according to