Man to go to trial on charges he sent Hannibal Lecter pic to judge

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18: Actor Anthony Hopkins accepts the Scream Legend award onstage during Spike TV's 2008 Scream awards held at the Greek Theater on October 18, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The screen behind shows Hopkins in his award-winning role as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the 1991 film 'The Silence of the Lambs'. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

MONESSEN, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has been ordered to stand trial on charges he threatened a judge by sending her a letter including a picture of movie cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

The Tribune-Review says 38-year-old Gregg Tchirkow claimed at Thursday’s hearing that picture was a “cry for help” and a way to tell the court he needed psychiatric help when transitioning from prison to freedom. Lecter is the criminally insane psychiatrist in the film “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Westmoreland County Judge Meagan Bilik-Defazio sent Tchirkow to prison in 2015 for growing marijuana in his home. Prosecutors contend the letter was sent in retaliation and to terrorize the judge.

Tchirkow promised to fight the charges at trial, saying he knew he was “doomed from the beginning” because a judge is the alleged victim.