Inmate who made calls prompting prison lockdown writes threatening letter to Texas lawmaker

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Officials say the same death row inmate caught making a call from a smuggled cell phone in October has sent a letter threatening the life of a Texas lawmaker.

Texas prison officials also said a different death row inmate's contraband cell phone was discovered Wednesday afternoon, hours
after a prison lockdown was lifted.

Prison investigators said yesterday that they received a letter this week from 29-year-old Richard Lee Tabler with threats against state Sen. John Whitmire.

Whitmire tells the Austin American-Statesman that he's very concerned for his family and is taking the necessary precautions.

Officials say Tabler's letter also included threats against Austin American-Statesman reporter Mike Ward, who broke the story about the smuggled cell phone.

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News report that prison officials found a cell phone, a charger, a makeshift weapon and what appeared to be marijuana in the cell of a different death row inmate.

Those items were hidden in a sock in convicted murderer Mark Stroman's cell.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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