Broward News

Palm Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Posting Death Threats to Broward State Attorney on Blog

Mark Robert Hillstrom, a Palm Beach resident with a history of arrests and mental illness, pleaded guilty to making death threats to Broward State Attorney Mike Satz in a posting on the JAABlog last November.

Hillstrom, 59, was arrested in December after an unidentified person spotted the threatening comment on the courthouse blog and reported it to law enforcement officials.

The FBI then moved in and got a subpoena to identify the computer that was used, tracking it to Hillstrom.

Hillstrom reportedly logged into the comment section of the blog under the name "Rouge asa will die." (ASA being an abbreviation for "assistant state attorney") on November 27.

He then left a comment:

"By the end of this year a rouque [sic] asa will be executed for his abuse of prosecutorial power that hurt my kids and ruined my life. His kids will be spared but he has to [sic] much power to be left to his sma [sic] minded sick decptions [sic] to get convictions and further his career. He will be accompained [sic] by current and former judges who abused their judicial power to destroy good lives and decent people. Mike Satz goes first."

Officials say Hillstrom was angry at how Satz had handled several criminal cases filed against him, including allegations of domestic violence and aggravated stalking.

Feds eventually tracked the computer down to a home in Boca Raton where Hillstrom was reportedly staying. The home belonged to a friend of his. Hillstrom was there to dog-sit for the friend.

Officials said Hillstrom was intoxicated when they visited the home. He refused to allow them to check the home's computers, forcing the FBI to contact the homeowner.

After being arrested, he reportedly tried to hang himself.

Hillstrom has a history of arrests and mental health problems.

According to the Sun Sentinel, Hillstom had sent numerous threatening emails, as well as angry voicemail messages for a prosecution's secretary between 2007 and 2012.

Between 2003 and 2007, a forensic psychologist who conducted mental health evaluations on Hillstrom diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and antisocial disorder as well as alcohol dependency.

The same psychologist was forced to get a restraining order against Hillstrom after receiving threats on his voicemail.

Hillstrom is now facing up to five years in federal prison. His sentencing will be later this year.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph