Kerman man released despite repeated alleged threats to Fresno County sheriff

'He's threatening to hurt her, kill her, and to do other things to her.'

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022
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A 27-year-old Kerman man is out of jail on bond despite allegedly emailing a series of death threats to Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

KERMAN, Calif. (KFSN) -- A 27-year-old Fresno County man is out of jail on bond despite allegedly emailing a series of death threats to Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Sheriff Mims is five months away from retirement, but she's not getting the chance to ride peacefully into the sunset.

The Kerman man, Robby Aulakh, is accused of sending her a series of concerning emails.

"He's expressed anger towards Sheriff Mims and he wants to do something," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi after reading through an arrest warrant. "He's threatening to hurt her, kill her, and to do other things to her."

The arrest warrant reveals some of the content of the messages from Aulakh, including video of a dirt hole dug into an orchard. Investigators don't know exactly what it is, but they believe it could be a possible ambush position.

Sheriff Mims told detectives the emails progressed from ramblings to vulgar threats.

"Hey Margaret Mims, you want to go in a casket or something?" read one of them.

The sheriff said she's taking the threats personally because Aulakh named her, and she's extra concerned because of his criminal history. It includes a few domestic violence arrests and convictions between 2015 and 2017. Aulakh violated a restraining order and other court orders in those cases.

Capozzi says Sheriff Mims has every reason to be on alert.

"It'd be difficult to be in the sheriff's position when this guy is out on bail with total freedom," Capozzi said. "There needs to be restrictions and if there aren't restrictions that can ensure the safety of the sheriff, he should be incarcerated."

Aulakh is not incarcerated.

His public defender declared doubt about his mental competency in July, putting a stop to proceedings while doctors determined his mental health status.

But days later, he posted a $95,000 bond and got out of jail.

We tried to track him down, but he didn't return messages.

Capozzi says an insanity plea might be Aulakh's only chance at a defense.

"His position would be that 'I was out of my right mind when I was sending these emails,'" Capozzi said.

A spokesman sent us a statement saying the sheriff's office takes "all threats against its employees very seriously. It will not be tolerated and we will hold everyone accountable who tries to elicit violence."

The arrest warrant doesn't reveal why Aulakh allegedly aimed his anger at Sheriff Mims, but he's not the first.

Last year, a judge sentenced a neighbor to a year in jail for going to her home and threatening her.

Capozzi says politicians are frequent targets.

"It's become so partisan and so dangerous now to be in office," he said. "Threats are coming in against politicians every day."

Aulakh is due back in court in October for a hearing to determine if he's mentally competent to stand trial or if he needs to go to a mental institution until he's ready for trial.