A former candidate for the Thousand Oaks City Council has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison for threatening to kill six prosecutors in the Ventura County district attorney's office.
Danny Avila was sentenced Monday after being convicted last month of six counts of making criminal threats and six counts of threatening public officials for threatening the prosecutors from jail in 2008.
Avila ran for City Council in 2004. He was charged with hacking into the Verizon wireless system and sending bogus text messages to thousands of residents between midnight and 4 a.m. in the name of a fellow candidate.
The Ventura County district attorney's office filed charges, including computer fraud and identity theft against him.
While he was in jail on those charges, Avila threatened in a phone call to kill one prosecutor and wrote letters to five female prosecutors threatening to "rape them, kill them with a fishing knife and burn their bodies with lighter fluid," according to the state attorney general's office, which prosecuted the case.
"I take very seriously any threat against prosecutors or police officers," Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris said in a statement. "They are the ones charged with keeping the public safe, so their own protection is doubly important, and violators must be punished." Avila has been in custody since March 2006 because his sentence was interrupted by two stays in mental hospitals. He will spend about 5 1/2 years in prison because he was credited with 279 days served.