The Idaho inmate pleaded guilty to mailing threatening communications to the state judge in King County.

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BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho inmate who sent letters to a Seattle-area judge threatening to kill the judge and his family has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Bart Davis in a news release Wednesday says 55-year-old Brian Ray McClure received the sentence Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boise.

Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered that the 33-month federal sentence begin after McClure is granted parole or on March 1, 2019, whichever is earlier.

McClure pleaded guilty in August to mailing threatening communications in 2015 to the state judge in King County.

Officials say McClure had no connection to the judge.

Winmill rejected McClure’s explanation that he was put up by others to get protection in prison.