Man gets pretrial intervention in case involving city council threats

MARFA — Michael Calvert, a local man previously charged with felony terroristic threat after he allegedly threatened to shoot Marfa City Council members, has taken a pretrial intervention deal that will allow him to avoid a full criminal trial.

Under the terms of Calvert’s agreement, which was filed in Presidio County courts last month, Calvert agreed to a number of conditions, including avoiding drugs, alcohol and people who have been previously convicted of felonies. He also agreed to break no laws himself.

Per that agreement, Calvert will also pay a monthly fee of $60. His intervention period, which technically started in mid-July, is slated to last for six months.

Pretrial intervention — also known as pretrial diversion — is similar to probation in that it allows defendants in criminal trials to avoid prison time. But unlike probation, which comes after a person is found guilty or has even served part of their sentence, pretrial intervention happens before defendants are formally convicted of crimes and takes the place of a full criminal trial.

Calvert’s charges stemmed from a heated animal ordinance workshop at the Marfa City Council in 2019, at which Calvert told the council that he would “kill every one of you.” At the time, reactions from council members ranged from shock to laughter.

Shortly after the meeting, Calvert expressed regret for his remarks. He’d made them, he said, because it seemed like the city council “didn’t even want to listen” to public comments.

“Right after I said it, I thought, ‘You idiot, you’re not going to shoot nobody,’” he told The Big Bend Sentinel after the incident. “If they need an apology, I’ll give it in writing, or whatever they need.”

Calvert was indicted in January, after authorities accused him of allegedly placing “the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of a serious bodily injury,” according to court filings. Authorities charged him with a felony terroristic threat. He turned himself in on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay the sum to secure his release.

Calvert, through his attorney Liz Rogers, declined to comment for this story. But in an interview on Monday, Rogers said both she and Calvert were glad the case was over.

“It is my pleasure to represent Michael Calvert,” Rogers said. “He looks forward to having this case behind him so he can address his health issues.”