A man defending himself against accusations he threatened a woman who had a disorderly conduct restraining order out against him hardly spoke on the first day of trial, but did communicate in writing to the judge handling the case.
Greg Boe, 54, who is charged in April with terrorizing, a class C felony, and violating a disorderly conduct restraining order, a class A misdemeanor, had no questions for potential jurors on Monday, Feb. 25, and didn’t give an opening statement. He did, however, send a letter to the judge hearing the case saying the judge had been added to a “hit list.”
Boe sent a letter to Northwest District Judge Paul Jacobson Monday from the Williams County jail. The two-page letter to the judge, which bore the words “Zero Tolerance” written in pencil at the top of both pages, told Jacobson that he was being added to a list of people Boe wrote God had told him to kill.
Boe has been held on bond in the jail since his arrest in April. Police said he wrote a threatening letter to a woman that said if she didn’t follow “God’s plan” and marry him there would be “bloody consequences.”
Boe has been accused of threatening the woman in the past, and, at the time he is accused of making the latest threats she had a disorderly conduct restraining order out against him.
“To get right to the point, God has had me place your name on the hit list,” Boe wrote in the Monday letter to Jacobson. He then went on to give what he said was an abbreviated version of that list.
The list in the letter included the woman he’s accused of threatening previously, as well as Jacobson, Williams County State’s Attorney Marlyce Wilder and her staff, members of law enforcement agencies in the county, several churches and schools.
“I am taking it upon myself, being directed by God, to kill the people on this hit list He has had me create,” Boe wrote, before going on to quote several passages from the Bible. “To conclude, I am thankful for forgiveness. And I want to thank you for joining the conspiracy to commit murder.”
He signed the letter, “Your brother in Christ following God’s lead, Greg Boe.”
During the three hours he was in court Monday, Boe answered questions from Jacobson with a yes or no, but only spoke to ask a question of Megan Peterson, the Williston Police Department evidence technician.
Peterson testified for less than half an hour, with most of her time on the stand spent identifying items the prosecution intends to introduce later in the trial. One of those items was a .40-caliber Glock pistol police and prosecutors said Boe bought before he sent the threatening letter to the woman.
On the stand Monday, Peterson said she’d been present last week when the pistol was test fired to make sure it was functional.
Boe questioned her about the gun.
“You indicated on Feb. 22 the pistol was test fired, did you find it was fired before then?” he asked.
Peterson said she hadn’t done the examination of the gun, and that she was only present for the test firing.
In his opening statement Monday, Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, said that Boe had bothered the woman he’s accused of threatening for years, and in the letter he sent in April referred to her as his future wife. The woman is already married, Madden told the jurors.
“He just simply won’t leave her alone,” he said.
Madden said the prosecution would show Boe knew about the restraining order and contacted the woman anyway, that he threatened the woman in writing, that he bought a gun to help carry out his plan to kill the woman and that he wrote to others explaining the plan.
Letter to judge threatened potential jurors
Also on the list of people threatened in the letter were the potential jurors in his case. He said he attached a list to the letter. It was not clear from electronic court records whether that list existed.
The threats to jurors was a concern Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, brought up nearly a week ago during a hearing.
At a pretrial conference on Tuesday, Feb. 19, Madden said jail staff had intercepted a number of threatening letters Boe had tried to send.
In December, Boe was charged with making threats to public servants, a class C felony. He was accused of sending a letter threatening Wilder for refusing to drop the charges he was facing.
“Mr. Boe does have a tendency to mail out death threats,” Madden told Jacobson.
He said he wanted to make sure Boe had access to juror questionnaires, like he had a right to, but also to make sure Boe wasn’t able to threaten potential jurors. Jacobson said Boe could review the lists in a courtroom or a conference room, but that he wasn’t allowed to have the full list in his jail cell.
At the same hearing, Jacobson questioned Boe about whether he would have a lawyer.
“At this time, I won’t have a lawyer,” Boe said.
“You intend to represent yourself?” Jacobson asked.
“I do,” Boe said.
Jacobson told Boe that an evaluation done at the North Dakota State Hospital in Jamestown found that he was competent to stand trial and able to assist a lawyer in his own defense.
After questioning him to ensure he understood what he would have to do as his own attorney, Jacobson asked Boe if he wanted a delay to seek representation.
“I don’t,” Boe said. “I want to move forward.”
“You’re sure you don’t want to get counsel?” Jacobson asked.
“I am,” Boe said.
Jacobson said Boe seemed capable of expressing himself and acting reasonably, and so ordered the trial to move forward.
Boe’s trial is set to continue Tuesday, Feb. 26.