An Earlville man was convicted Thursday of threatening a former Earlville police officer, telling the officer he'd burn his house down and kill his family.

Eric Stevens, 22, of Earlville faces 2-5 years in prison, with the possibility of probation, for threatening a public official, a Class 3 felony. He will be sentenced Nov. 12 before Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr.

Ryan presided over a daylong bench trial completed Tuesday but deferred making a ruling until Thursday, giving him the chance to review assorted materials including a recording of radio dispatches from the July 6 incident in downtown Earlville. There, four men allegedly threatened Brown, his family and home.

At trial, Stevens denied making any threats to officer Jeremiah Brown but also gave testimony that conflicted with an earlier statement he gave police. Brown, in turn, testified that Stevens had threatened him but acknowledged his report and grand jury testimony attributed no specific threat to Stevens.

Ryan said his decision came down to credibility and that he tended to believe Brown's version of events more than Stevens'.

Stevens gave no visible reaction as the verdict was read.

More on this story in Friday's NewsTribune

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