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Adam J. Haney

A 27-year-old man who spent eight months in jail after threatening an East Baton Rouge Parish judge is now on probation after pleading guilty to a felony count of public intimidation and retaliation.

Michael James Baxter, of Baton Rouge, was accused of threatening Juvenile Court Judge Adam Haney in an October letter and on Facebook in January after the judge terminated his parental rights in May 2016. Baxter's minor child was given up for adoption.

Baxter was charged with two counts of public intimidation and retaliation, one involving the letter and the other the social media post. He pleaded guilty Thursday to the count involving the Facebook posting. The other count was dismissed.

The Facebook post stated, "If you want me to be quiet you have one choice, Kill me. I don't give a f*** about your position or the `power' you have, I will not kill you but I will say this, you better hope our paths never cross again because I will beat the s*** out of you for destroying my family without any probable cause. It would be meaningless to kill you, I wouldn't cause your family the same pain you caused by taking a loved one away."

State District Judge Lou Daniel put Baxter on supervised probation for three years and ordered him to have no contact with Haney. Daniel also ordered Baxter to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Baxter's attorney, Margaret Lagattuta, said her client took responsibility for his actions.

"The fact that his parental rights had been terminated led his emotions to rule his actions and caused him to act in a way that normally would not be his behavior," she said Friday.

Haney, a former East Baton Rouge Parish assistant district attorney, declined comment Friday. The state Attorney General's Office took over the case last month after the East Baton Rouge District Attorney's Office recused itself.

Daniel will review Baxter's case in January.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.