By Steve Large

AMADOR COUNTY (CBS13) – A judge’s life was put in jeopardy after a man, who appeared in her courtroom years before, allegedly threatened to kill her. The man is also accused of targeting a D.A.’s investigator. Now the suspect is in custody and heading back to court.

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The judge and investigator can sleep easier tonight knowing their suspect is locked up in the Amador County Jail, after the suspect’s own parents reportedly helped build a case against him.

The court documents in the case against Christopher Smith paint a portrait of an angry 42-year-old divorced father and son who was so angry he threatened to kill. The Amador County District Attorney’s Office filed Smith’s arrest warrant.

Christopher Smith (credit: Amador County Sheriff's Dept.)

“An additional concern in this situation is that a judge is involved and a D.A. investigator is also involved,” said Amador County Chief District Attorney Melinda Aiello.

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The criminal complaint against Smith alleges his death threats against Amador County judge Susan Harlan were unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific.

According to the Amador Ledger, Smith’s arrest report shows Smith and Judge Harlan had a history. She had terminated his children’s visitation rights during his divorce case several years ago. And Smith’s own mom and dad also called police after Smith said he’d kill them, Judge Harlan and a D.A. investigator.

Smith was arrested in Park County in Montana by U.S. Marshals after a strange exchange tipped them off to his whereabouts. He reportedly turned a handgun in to police then later asked for it back. He is accused of making threats against one judge who ruled against him in family court. Now it’s a criminal court judge who’ll be ruling on what’s in store for him next.

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A judge will rule if Smith is mentally capable of standing trial. If he is convicted, Smith will face a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison.