The second Red Onion State Prison inmate in just two weeks has been convicted of sending threatening letters to an official connected with previous cases.

A jury in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, convicted Randall J. Keystone, 55, of sending threatening communications through the mail following the conclusion of a one-day jury trial, U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced Wednesday in a news release.

Keystone, who was originally convicted in 1998 of attempted rape in Lynchburg, Virginia, was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of transmitting in interstate commerce a communication containing a threat to injure another person.

“Communicating threats of death or bodily harm is a serious federal crime and one that we will aggressively prosecute,” Cullen said.  “I am grateful for the hard work of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Virginia Department of Corrections in bringing this defendant to justice.”

According to evidence presented at trial, Keystone, while incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison, sent a pair of threatening letters to the former state prosecutor who handled his case in the late 1990s. The former state prosecutor, who was not identified in the news release, but is now an assistant U.S. attorney in North Carolina, received one letter at his home and one at his office.

In both letters, written on or about Jan. 11, 2017, Keystone wrote, “How’d you like someone to put a bullit [sic] in your head? How’d you like me to be the one to do it?”

This isn’t the first time Keystone has been convicted of writing and sending a threatening letter to someone. He was previously convicted of sending a letter to the victim of his Lynchburg case, but that letter was caught before reaching the victim, according to court records.

In August, Mitchell Norbert Nicholas, 41, was also convicted of sending threatening letters to two U.S. judges in the Virgin Islands, where he was previously convicted of murder. Nicholas has been serving time at Red Onion.

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rsorrell@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2531 | Twitter: @RSorrellBHC | Facebook.com/robertsorrelltn

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