Court tosses farmer’s terrorism threat conviction

DES MOINES – The Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a farmer’s threat of terrorism conviction Wednesday, ruling that there isn’t enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to “blow away” a county Farm Service Agency director.

The case involves Arend Deboer, who placed an angry call to the Rock Rapids branch of the FSA in September 2011. The 60-year-old farmer from Little Rock called with questions about the ownership of land his ex-wife had received in their divorce. When he became frustrated during his conversation with Lyon County FSA Executive Director Carol Groen, he told Groen that he would “blow” her and the court “away.”