SANTA ANA — The attorney for a Westminster man convicted of sending threatening letters to Olympic ice-skating champion Katarina Witt asked a federal appeals court Thursday to free his client, now in custody at a psychiatric hospital.
Harry Veltman III, 48, a former crop duster, was sentenced last June to 37 months in federal prison. Veltman, who was found to be a paranoid schizophrenic, was placed in a psychiatric hospital in Minnesota so he could receive treatment for his mental disorders.
Federal Deputy Public Defender H. Dean Steward has appealed that sentence, and the case was formally submitted Thursday to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Federal prosecutors, who object to any sentence reduction, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The professional figure skater testified that the nude photos and obscene letters she received from Veltman made her fear for her life. Witt testified that Veltman also stalked her, once knocking on her front door at 3 a.m. to scream his love for her.