Inmate sentenced for anthrax hoax

Kenneth McElwaney, a Florida inmate, was sentenced to 30 more years in prison this week for threatening a judge with an envelope filled with white powder.

The white powder, thought first to possibly be anthrax, prompted the evacuation of a Florida court house, but was later found to be McElwaney’s prescription lithium, according to

The defense asserted that McElwaney was insane and that he was responding to a voice inside his head he called “Lucifer.” The prosecution insisted he was simply a mean person who wanted to get revenge on the judge for sending him to prison for a parole violation.

McElwaney was in the psychiatric ward of a Florida correctional facility when he wrote two threatening letters. One was opened by Judge Anthony Black’s former judicial assistant and the other, containing the crushed lithium, was opened by a court clerk, according to

In both letters, McElwaney claimed to be a member of the white supremacist group called Aryan Nations, and promised to kill Black and kidnap members of his family if he were not released. He later told a detective that it was his constitutional right to send the letters.

McElwaney will not begin to serve the 30 years until he finishes serving his current sentence in 2020.

"I'm sorry for causing problems,” McElwaney said after his conviction, reports.