Yakima jury clears man accused of beheading threat

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A superior court jury in Yakima acquitted a Union Gap man who was accused of threatening to behead a judge and police officer.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the jury deliberated about three hours Wednesday before returning the verdict on the felony harassment charge against 40-year-old Raymond Eric Zahler.

He was accused of making the threat in a letter he sent last July to multiple government agencies.

The defense lawyer, Dennis Morgan, argued the language was allegorical or satirical as Zahler was writing to seek assistance in resolving a legal dispute.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com