L.A. Courthouse Shooter Made Prior Threats

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L.A. Courthouse Shooter Made Prior Threats

OCTOBER 31--The California man arrested today for shooting an attorney outside a Van Nuys courthouse was embroiled in such a contentious probate matter that a court-appointed trustee asked to be removed from the case due to recent death threats made by the gunman.

In an October 17 court filing, a copy of which you'll find here, trustee Evelyn Murphy stated that she felt "physically threatened" by William Strier and claimed that he called her in late-August and warned, "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to strap you down and hurt you."

While details of the probate matter are sketchy, it appears that Strier, 64, was the subject of a "special needs trust," which can be established to provide for a dependant or beneficiary with a physical or mental disability.

The Strier trust was overseen by Murphy, who was represented by Gerald Curry, the lawyer who was gunned down today by Strier.

A court hearing was scheduled for this morning on Murphy's request to be relieved as trustee of the Strier trust and be replaced by Strier's sister, Ethel Celnik.

In an October 20 response to Murphy's recusal request, Strier denied threatening her and complained that the trustee was holding up payments that he needed for medical care. He also claimed that he called Murphy and "begged her for help" since "I cannot stand this much pain."

Strier's declaration also refers to a purported conversation his sister had with Curry during which the lawyer warned that "he will teach us a lesson and he will make us pay for the bad day he is having." (7 pages)

Below you'll find Court TV video of the Van Nuys shooting.