SONGWRITER THREATENS STRAIT

Note to all aspiring songwriters - the following is not the way to get your songs cut. Louisiana tunesmith Walter Bonin Jr. has been indicted by a federal grand jury on extortion charges after threatening to harm George Strait, his family, his band and parts of Nashville's famed Music Row. Last July Bonin sent a letter to the president of George's fan club, writing, "If it comes down to it and I have no choice but to go Rambo, let me just say that I won't be the lone gunman." The Tennessean reports that Bonin also describes how quickly he could destroy George's home, adding, "Well, it doesn't have to end with war. One song will be fine." At the end of the letter, Bonin said, "Hehehehe, just joking about all this stuff." But officials weren't laughing. Bonin could face 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted. On Feb. 11, he was indicted in Nashville on seven extortion charges. The U.S. attorney's office and the FBI yesterday would not comment on the case, and it's currently unclear whether Bonin is in custody.

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