Trial begins of man accused of threatening local officials, attorneys 

The trial of a mentally ill San Bruno man accused of threatening to execute elected officials and attorneys on the Peninsula was set to begin Monday.

In one of a series of alarming incidents between September and December, 64-year-old John Costa phoned threats into the San Bruno city clerk’s office warning that he would kill city council members and police who tried to enter his home, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

He also left messages at St. Dunstan Church in Millbrae claiming a priest there had killed his mother and another parishioner, Wagstaffe said.

Costa had it out for attorneys as well, he said.

He left 60 phone messages in one weekend to Millbrae Attorney George Corey. He stated Corey was in cahoots with President Barack Obama and the secret service and that the attorney “needed to be executed,” Wagstaffe said.

Costa was later arrested. He “said he was not serious and just meant to scare victims,” Wagstaffe said.

Costa is battling four misdemeanor charges for making threats via electronic communication. His trial is set for Monday morning in South San Francisco Misdemeanor Court. He remains in custody on $7,500 bail.

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