SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A California man who as a child actor voiced the cartoon character Charlie Brown was charged on Friday with threatening a judge, a witness and the San Diego County sheriff at a court hearing meant to sentence him for other charges.
Peter Robbins, 59, had faced up to three years and two months in state prison for violating his probation after he earlier admitting charges of stalking and making threats.
Instead, he was charged with two counts of criminal threats, against the judge and a witness; one of attempted criminal threat for allegedly offering $50,000 for the murder of Sheriff Bill Gore, and one count of felony vandalism of his jail cell.
Robbins cried through the hearing, according to Deputy District Attorney Brenda Daly.
“He has shown such a spectrum of emotions that I try not to pay attention,” Daly said.
Robbins’ attorney, Jo Ellen Super, did not return calls seeking comment on the new charges.
Robbins had pleaded guilty to charges of stalking and making threats in May 2013, after harassing and threatening an ex-girlfriend and the plastic surgeon who enhanced her breasts.
The judge had ordered him to spend eight months in residential drug treatment and then serve five years on probation.
Robbins was re-arrested in February for probation violations that included drinking alcohol and cutting off his GPS ankle bracelet, prosecutors said. His behavior prompted a psychiatric evaluation and, in August, he was found competent to be sentenced.
He has been held without bail since February. On Friday, the judge set bail on the new charges at $250,000.
Robbins was 9 years old in 1965 when he became the voice of the world-weary yet optimistic title character of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” a holiday classic marking its 50th anniversary and the first of many animated TV specials based on the popular “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles Schulz.
He went on to voice Charlie Brown in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” and other “Peanuts” animated specials that aired in the 1960s. He was replaced in later versions of the specials.
Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Trott