Man gets 60 years for trying to kill federal judge, prosecutor

Tip from cell mate leads to homemade knife prior to court appearance

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 45-year-old career criminal who pleaded guilty to attempting to kill a federal prosecutor and attempting to hire someone to kill both the prosecutor and a federal judge was sentenced Monday to 60 years in prison.

According to court documents, Robert Spiker asked a fellow inmate to recruit members of a white supremacist prison gang to have U.S. Magistrate Tom Morris and prosecutor Mark Devereaux killed.  In return, Spiker offered to recruit members for the White Knights and handle their agenda while in prison. He also said he would kill another inmate, if his hit man wanted them dead.

According to the indictment, Spiker also planned to stab Devereaux with a shank during a court appearance. 

Prosecutors say Spiker was angry at Morris and Devereaux over a 2012 perjury case involving false claims he made about being mistreated while in state prison. 

In one of several letters placed in evidence, Spiker wrote: "If I catch that f------ in the courtroom, I'm a ice & dice his ass. Im a kill that b----."  He added he'd have no problem killing Devereaux's wife and children, as well.

Because of a tip from a fellow inmate, the FBI and U.S. Marshals found the handmade knife (pictured below) before Spiker was taken to court. It was made from tweezers and sharpened, authorities said.


"I thank God that (his) cell mate did the right thing," Devereaux said during the sentencing hearing. "But for that, I would probably be dead."

Spiker was serving a 15-year sentence on a 2003 conviction for burglary in Broward County when he faced federal prosecution on the perjury charge.

Spiker had six previous arrests, and served a previous prison sentence for escape.

Spiker was sentenced to 20-year sentences on each of the three charges: one for threatening a federal judge, one for threatening a federal prosecutor and the third for murder for hire.

In announcing that the sentences would be served consecutively, Judge Mark Walker called this a "well-orchestrated plan."

Spiker's attorney, Roland Falcon, said his client has mental issues and needs to be at a secured mental health hospital, not a prison.

Spiker still faces sentencing next month on the perjury charge.