Former City Council Candidate Sentenced to More Than Six Years for Jailhouse Threats Against Prosecutors

VENTURA - Daniel Avila, 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.

Avila was convicted of six counts of making criminal threats and six counts of threatening public officials on April 4 in Ventura County Superior Court. He was sentenced yesterday. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Jonathan Kline.

"As the chief law enforcement officer of California," Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said, "I take very seriously any threat against prosecutors or police officers. They are the ones charged with keeping the public safe, so their own protection is doubly important, and violators must be punished. The result in this case achieves both objectives."

Avila ran for the Thousand Oaks City Council in 2004, and 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 District Attorney's office filed charges including computer fraud and identity theft against him.

While he was in jail on those charges in 2008, 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.

Avila has been in custody continuously since March 2006, including two stints in mental hospitals. The sentence gives him credit for 279 days served on the current charges, which means he must serve more than five-and-a-half additional years.