Children’s Book Illustrator Charged With ‘Terroristic Threatening’ For Suggesting Trans People May Kill Children

(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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A children’s book illustrator has been charged with terroristic threatening for leaving notes around Juneau, Alaska, suggesting that transgender people will commit violence.

The notes were left in apparent connection to the recent killing of 6 individuals at a Christian school in Nashville, including 3 children, by a transgender.

Mitchell Thomas Watley, 47, has been put under arrest under one charge of terroristic threatening, which is a Class C felony. A Class C felony can result in up to 5 years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Watley is being held in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. (RELATED: REPORT: Police Find Transgender Nashville Shooter’s Suicide Note During Search Of Her Home)

The Juneau Police Department received a report on March 31 about a note “that indicated a possible general threat against children.” Later that same day, the police received a second report about a similar note. On April 2, two more notes were reportedly left at local businesses. Police were able to identify and arrest Watley that same day. The arrest was made with assistance from the FBI.

“Feeling Cute Might Shoot Some Children,” one note read, with a picture of a rifle and a transgender pride flag, according to a criminal complaint accessed by the Juneau Empire.

Watley’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, which is owned by Penguin Random House, has reportedly severed its relationship with the author. Watley has illustrated several books written by his wife, including “I Would Tuck You In” and “You Are Home With Me.”

“Officers spoke to Mitchell, who said (in essence) that he was in fear of the recent transgender school shooter and took it upon himself to print out and distribute these leaflets,” a complaint reportedly read.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11.