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Monessen man accused of sending Hannibal Lecter photo to judge

Rich Cholodofsky
| Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 6:09 p.m.
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter is one of the big screen's iconic horror characters.
Orion Pictures
Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter is one of the big screen's iconic horror characters.

A Monessen man charged with threatening a Westmoreland County judge last year with a picture of the fictional movie character Dr. Hannibal Lecter claims he carelessly mailed the correspondence in anger and frustration.

Gregg Andrew Tchirkow, 39, prior to a brief court appearance Wednesday, filed court documents seeking dismissal of charges of stalking, sending terroristic threats and retaliating against a government official.

Police contend Tchirkow sent Common Pleas Court Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio a picture of the fictitious, diaboloical cannibal Lecter, portrayed by actor Anthony Hopkins in the movie, "The Silence of the Lambs." The movie filmed in the Pittsburgh region in 1990 and hit theaters in the next year.

"While somewhat inappropriate, disrespectful and a bit bizarre, the mailing of these photos with their captions to a ... judge does not establish the ... element of any of the three crimes charged," Tchirkow wrote in a motion to dismiss.

Tchirkow is representing himself in the case.

He originally was sentenced to serve 18 to 36 months in prison after he was convicted in 2015 of growing marijuana. Bilik-DeFazio in March 2017 ordered Tchirkow to be detained after he refused to sign documents required for his release from jail on probation.

Senior Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy Creany of Cambria County said Wednesday he will conduct a hearing May 30 on Tchirkow's motion to dismiss criminal charges. Creany was appointed as the presiding judge in the case after Westmoreland County judges recused themselves from hearing the case.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or

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