BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Gustavo Chavez claimed he spoke through the Holy Spirit and was relaying messages sent by God when he threatened to decapitate a Superior Court judge.
As a divine messenger, Chavez told a prosecutor at trial, he was not subject to the laws of man.
On Wednesday, however, no higher power intervened to stop Chavez from receiving 14 years and eight months in prison.
Chavez, 43, was found guilty in February of threatening to kill Superior Court Judge Colette M. Humphrey and the Kern County Park Ranger chief of police, as well making threats against police and park rangers in thousands of text messages.
One text message written by Chavez said, “Judge Humphrey, your head has to come off, non-negotiable.“
Humphrey had previously sentenced Chavez for making a threat against the park ranger chief in 2019, prosecutors said.
Police attempted to arrest Chavez on Sept. 13, 2021, as he cut trees at a Bakersfield home. Chavez became combative and wielded a machete as he approached officers and shouted, “You’re going to have to shoot me,” prosecutors said. An officer used a Taser on Chavez and he was arrested.
Chavez was sentenced by Judge Brian M. McNamara, who noted people have a right to their religious beliefs, but issues arise when those beliefs conflict with the law.