Man charged with threatening to ‘execute’ former Taft police chief

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TAFT, Calif. (KGET) — A man whose family says suffers from mental illness is charged with two felonies in connection with threatening to “execute” former Taft police chief and current city council member Ed Whiting, court filings say.

Asher Jonathan Edwards, 39, is held without bail following his arrest in March on charges of making terroristic threats and threatening a public official, according to the Superior Court website.

Whiting contacted police in June of last year to report a Facebook post from a person identifying himself as Edwards, Taft police say in a court filing. Whiting provided police with a screenshot of the post.

It read, “Taft residents, tell ex police chief Whiting we know he is a deep state agent and I will be executing him for treason very soon,” according to the filing.

A records check indicated Edwards lived in Taft, but his brother told police Edwards had moved to Northern California.

The brother said Edwards suffers from mental illness and rants about public officials, including the president, the filing says.

Whiting told police he could not recall ever having contact with Edwards.

A trial is scheduled June 1.

For other local crime news, click on the following:

A man was arrested after officers found two cut catalytic converters in the trunk of his vehicle, Delano police said.

Probation officers made two arrests after finding an assault rifle, ammunition and methamphetamine during a search of an East Bakersfield residence.

A man was arrested in connection with a Lamont stabbing on Tuesday.

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