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Judge’s security heightened after preacher makes possible threats

Bishop Herman JacksMay. | Sun-Times files

Bishop Herman Jackson in May. | Sun-Times files

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Updated: August 24, 2013 6:25AM

U.S. Marshals ratcheted up security Monday for a federal judge after a Cicero preacher accused of fraud made “possibly threatening statements” about the judge to the Chicago Sun-Times, officials said.

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman — the subject of the possible threat — also set a new court date for Herman Jackson after the newspaper reported his warning that “the wrath of God almighty shall soon visit” Coleman’s home.

Jackson is now due in court at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The hearing is set three hours after Jackson is required to return from Georgia under an order Coleman issued last week, prompting Jackson’s comment.

The man who calls himself the bishop of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple hoped to move part-time to Georgia to help his 15-year-old son travel to classes. Coleman instead allowed him just a brief visit this week that ends at noon Wednesday.

In response, Jackson told the Sun-Times: “Because of Judge Sharon Coleman’s continual mocking of God’s ecclesiastical order and the sanctity of family/marriage, the wrath of God almighty shall soon visit her home.”

Jackson then denied it was a threat. He declined to comment further Monday. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office also wouldn’t comment.

The judge previously cautioned Jackson “there’s some danger in your words.” In her latest order, she wrote she “has concerns about Mr. Jackson’s ability to comply with bond conditions and to appreciate the severity and magnitude of the situation in which he finds himself.”

Federal authorities in Chicago are sensitive to any perceived danger after the 2005 murders of U.S. Judge Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother at her Edgewater home.

Jackson and his wife, Jannette Faria, are each accused of participating in an alleged scheme to swindle state day care funds. The charismatic preacher who has been forced to live in his church while the trial is pending has fought an increasingly erratic battle with Coleman since his October arrest.

That arrest cramped a lavish lifestyle that once included a small fleet of luxury vehicles, including two Mercedes and a Jaguar. A Bentley has been repossessed from his church, records show.

He’s previously apologized for an “emotional and disrespectful” courtroom temper tantrum when Coleman refused to let him move to Georgia in June .

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