Court tosses farmer’s terrorism threat conviction

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the threat of terrorism conviction of a northwest Iowa farmer saying there isn’t enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to “blow away” a county Farm Service Agency director.

The case involves 60-year-old Arend Deboer, a Little Rock farmer who placed an angry call to the Rock Rapids branch of the FSA in September 2011.

While the court concludes in its ruling Wednesday that his comments were intimidating, there isn’t enough proof to show they were about to occur. Iowa law requires a threat to be imminent to be considered terrorism.

The court threw out the conviction. A second charge of harassment goes back to a Lyon County judge to see if there is sufficient evidence to uphold it.

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