A federal grand jury in Missouri has indicted onetime Bryan Cave associate Ryan Walsh, who was laid off six months after joining the firm’s New York office in 2008, with threatening to kill a Bryan Cave employee in a message left on the person’s office voicemail.
According to the indictment handed up Thursday in federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri, Walsh—who faces the formal charge of transmitting a communication containing a threat to injure the person of another—left the message in question for the unidentified Bryan Cave worker on his or her office line at 9:27 p.m. on June 15.
In an affidavit filed with the court separately, Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent David Herr states that in his alleged message, Walsh said, among other things: “I show up to murder pieces of shit like you. . . . Let’s record this as a threat and turn it over to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel. This is like an arbitration or something. But, more importantly, I’m going to kill you.”
The indictment comes about two weeks after authorities issued a criminal complaint accusing Walsh of making the threat. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond Meyer, who is prosecuting the case, says Walsh is currently being held in custody and that on Tuesday the court granted a government motion seeking his continued detention. (Documents filed by the prosecution on June 27 show that authorities consider Walsh a serious flight risk if he is released on bond and a continued threat to the community.)
It was unclear Wednesday who is representing Walsh in the case. According to Meyer, he was represented by a federal public defender at a Tuesday hearing in federal court in Springfield, Missouri, near the town of Cassville where Walsh lived at the time of the alleged incident. Contacted by The Am Law Daily, the public defender’s office declined to release information or names of its clients. Meyer says Walsh is due to be transferred back to the Eastern District and will be held in a county jail until going on trial. No trial date has yet been scheduled.
If convicted, Walsh faces up to 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Walsh joined Bryan Cave as a litigation associate soon after graduating from New York University School of Law in 2008, but left six months later as the result of a reduction-in-force layoff, according to Herr’s affidavit. Court documents indicate Walsh worked at a St. Louis law firm after leaving Bryan Cave and before moving to Cassville.
A Bryan Cave spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Walsh was among the 58 attorneys the firm laid off in February 2009 as it, like other large law firms, coped with the fallout from the financial crisis, as reported by The Am Law Daily.
During his brief tenure at the firm, Walsh appears to have distinguished himself in at least one way: A report detailing Bryan Cave’s pro bono efforts in 2009 lists a Ryan Walsh as among the group of firm lawyers who recorded at least 50 hours of pro bono work that year.