ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A former Kirkwood dentist is accused of threatening three St. Louis County judges involved in his lengthy divorce and child custody battles, officials said Thursday.
Jeffrey D. Reuter, 51, delivered an “anti-government manifesto” to the homes of all three judges on Saturday, charging documents claim. Officials said the letters demanded $2.5 million, shared custody of his daughter, the purging of all cases and judgments against him, and an apology.
Reuter gave the judges a Dec. 31 deadline and wrote, “Failure to satisfy these demands will compel me to take pre-emptive, defensive measures against … further unlawful conduct on your part,” officials said.
Reuter was charged by complaint Tuesday with three felony counts of interfering with a judicial officer. St. Francois County sheriff’s Detective Michael Ryan said Reuter was at his parents’ weekend home in the Lake Timberline development near Bonne Terre when police arrived Wednesday. He initially refused to come out of the house but later surrendered without incident, Ryan said.
Reuter pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday. Bond has been set at $150,000 and if Reuter is released he will be fitted with a GPS monitor and restricted from contacting or approaching the judges or their families.
The charges follow years of court battles between Reuter, his wife and judges.
After a 2009 marriage in Franklin County, Reuter’s wife filed for divorce in 2013. A judge gave both joint child custody in 2014, but Reuter’s ex-wife got full legal custody because of Reuter’s “inability to communicate in a civil manner,” court documents show. He was also ordered into therapy.
In January 2017, a St. Louis County judge ordered courthouse security staff to accompany Reuter whenever he entered the building, citing threats to Reuter’s ex-wife and saying that Reuter told his daughter he has “guns to use ‘when the bad judge comes’ and ‘to shoot the judge.’”
In a March 2018 order, Associate Circuit Judge Mondonna Ghasedi wrote that Reuter’s ex-wife said he was physically abusive when they were married, and that his mental health had deteriorated and his anger worsened.
Their young daughter came home from visits talking about guns and who her father was going to shoot. When Reuter paid his child support, the envelopes were addressed “beggar,” “welfare” or by using an expletive.
As he’d threatened during the initial divorce proceedings, Reuter quit his dental practice, let his home go into foreclosure, stopped paying child support and moved into a home his parents owned, the order says.
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