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Chat Lowe hasn’t had any friends among federal prosecutors since he was convicted for assaulting an assistant U.S. attorney he brushed past on the street one day in 2002. And he certainly didn’t win any fans when he violated his sentence in 2005 by refusing to attend court-ordered mental health counseling after his release from prison. (He was sent back to prison for another year and released to a halfway house earlier this month.) But last week, the clash between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the 40-year-old D.C. resident intensified when Lowe was indicted on four counts of threatening to use a “weapon of mass destruction” against the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse in Washington in July 2005. Lowe, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans and sporting long dreadlocks, pleaded not guilty at his June 22 arraignment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine Connelly said in court that on July 11 Lowe was in the appeals court clerk’s office when he said something to the effect of “I’m going to blow up the new building and kill some judges.” He returned to the courthouse the next day and repeated the threat, Connelly said. Lowe’s court-appointed attorney, Mary Petras, was skeptical of the case and asked why the government waited a whole year to bring charges (which it did, coincidentally, just after Lowe was released from prison).
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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