An active-duty soldier in Tennessee is accused of threatening to gun down a judge who ruled against him in his 2021 divorce, suggesting she might meet the same fate as a Maryland family court judge who was murdered last month by another aggrieved ex-husband.
Cassidy “Bill” Busbin—who allegedly once killed his own dog in a fit of rage as a 2-year-old child looked on—has relentlessly harassed Montgomery County Circuit Judge Kathryn Olita on Facebook since at least July, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Nashville federal court.
The situation became so overwhelming for Olita that she suffered an “emotional breakdown,” says the complaint. She is now afraid to leave the house, has upgraded her home security, is taking self-defense classes, and has started seeing a therapist, it goes on, emphasizing the toll the 29-year-old Busbin has taken on her work in the courtroom.
“Busbin has also affected Olita’s other divorce cases, which is her primary caseload,” the complaint states. “Olita is now fearful of how other fathers may react if she rules against them.”
Judges across the country have seen a “dramatic rise in threats and inappropriate communications” over the past several years, according to the U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for protecting members of the federal judiciary. Many cases “have involved litigants angered by judges’ decisions,” the report said. “And the home addresses of judges handling controversial cases have been circulated on social media.” In recent months, Donald Trump’s vitriolic social media attacks against the federal and state judges, prosecutors, and grand jurors involved with his various criminal and civil proceedings have seemed to add rocket fuel to the mix.
Busbin completed basic training in 2013 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He has competed in the Combined Command Best Warrior Competition and is presently stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where the Army’s air assault school is based. Busbin’s second wife, along with his twin brother, are identified by their initials in the complaint, which was initially flagged by domestic terrorism researcher Seamus Hughes. It says the two have “been involved” in some of the communications in question, but neither has been charged with a crime.
In a screenshot included in the complaint of a direct message Busbin sent, he describes himself as a staff sergeant.
The complaint, which says Busbin first began posting about “father’s rights” and “expressing his displeasure” with judges, local cops, and attorneys in 2021, was abruptly resealed on Wednesday, without explanation. The Daily Beast was unable to locate a lawyer for Busbin who could comment or provide a statement on his behalf.
Busbin first came to the attention of the FBI on Oct. 27, when an Army Criminal Investigative Division (CID) special agent contacted the bureau about “an active-duty member of the United States Army” posting threats on Facebook against judges and other public officials in Montgomery County, the complaint states.
It says the CID agent told the FBI that Busbin was “displeased with the rulings of one or more judges related to [his] divorce and child custody proceedings, which were finalized in… approximately August 2021.”
Kathryn Olita has been a circuit court judge in Montgomery and Robertson counties since 2018, according to the complaint. And while “much of” Busbin’s divorce was uncontested and settled via mediation, the complaint says Olita “did rule against Busbin in several contested areas, mostly with regards to the parenting plan, child support, and visitation.”
He was permitted to see his biological child and stepchild on the first, second, and fourth weekends of each month during the school year, and alternating vacations during spring, fall, and winter breaks. Olita also ordered Busbin to continue maintaining his biological child’s health insurance, to pay $1,650 in back child support, and to provide $528 in monthly child support payments to his ex, according to the complaint.
The ruling apparently infuriated Busbin, who in October 2021 began peppering Facebook with posts about father’s rights and denigrating court officials involved with his case, the complaint says.
In one post, Busbin allegedly accused the court system of child abuse, calling for judges to be jailed and encouraging other fathers not to “give in.”
“I will never fall to the hands of others at the expense of my child’s safety and well being!” the post concluded. (A woman Busbin dated after his divorce accused him, under oath, of hitting her young daughter with a belt, according to the complaint.)
The posts continued unabated, with Busbin calling for, among other things, local judges to be “reeducated.” Then, last July, the posts turned personal, according to the complaint. That’s when Busbin shared a post from the “Father’s Rights Movement” Facebook page, which read: FAMILY COURT: A PLACE WHERE SHOWING LOVE IS CLASSED AS BEING EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE. CONTACTING YOUR CHILDREN IS CLASSED AS HARASSMENT. FALSE ALLEGATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED AND ACCEPTED. PERJURY IS ACCEPTED. THE TRUTH IS IGNORED AND YOU PAY TO SEE SOMEONE THAT’S ALREADY YOURS.”
Above the re-post, Busbin wrote “#katyolita.” (Olita goes by Katy in her everyday life.)
Later that month, Busbin took his gripes to Olita’s official Facebook page, responding in the comments to a post the judge had made.
“[T]hat snake Olita is a disgrace to the court and most likely end up in prison over all the back door deal [sic] and rights she violates and god knows i will celebrate the day she is removed from power and put in her place for the little rat she is,” Busbin wrote, according to the complaint.
He posted a second comment the same day, beneath another of Olita’s posts, writing, “[W]hat a pos that woman is a waste of oxygen!”
The verbal rampage continued, with Busbin allegedly posting a screed saying laws don’t override his “constitution [sic] rights” or his “basic human rights.”
“I will not surrender to your ignorance of the constitution i swore to uphold and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic!” a September 2023 post read. “If your [sic] offended by my statement, then your [sic] the problem.”
The feds say Busbin also aimed his anger at another circuit court judge in the area, a general sessions judge, the Montgomery County sheriff, one of his deputies, a Clarksville police officer, the Montgomery County judicial commissioner, Busbin’s ex-wife’s “current or ex” boyfriend, and the divorce lawyer who represented her in court.
Then, on Oct. 26, Busbin allegedly crossed the line.
He posted a link on Facebook from a page called “Pissed Off Parent,” which included a new report on the case of Pedro Argote, a Maryland divorcee accused of killing family court Judge Andrew Wilkinson last month, in the judge’s driveway, shortly after he awarded full custody of Argote’s children to their mother.
“[T]his is whats [sic] going to happen in clarksville if they keep fucking down [sic] soldiers especially to the judges and lawyers we are protesting so please take it how you want but know my rights will not stop with your opinions,” Busbin wrote above the link, the complaint states.
The FBI interviewed Olita, who said her life had been turned upside down by Busbin’s posts. She recalled Busbin having been “agitated and combative” in her courtroom, and had subsequently been randomly assigned to oversee Busbin’s brother’s divorce “by happenstance,” the complaint states, noting that Busbin began “regularly attending” those hearings once she was given the case.
Olita said she was “shocked” by the unhinged corruption and child abuse allegations Busbin made against her on social media, and took his posts about her being a “pos” and a “waste of oxygen” to mean she “should no longer be alive,” according to the complaint. However, it says, when she reported the threats to higher-ups at Fort Campbell, it completely enraged Busbin’s new wife, who then started posting threats online against Olita and her family.
“After seeing these posts, Olita described herself as having an ‘emotional breakdown,’ the driving force of which was Busbin,” the complaint goes on. “Olita indicated that she was upset, cried, felt short of breath, and felt overwhelmed. Ultimately, Olita decided to delete her official Judicial Facebook page because of Busbin… As a result of the posts and comments made by Busbin and his wife, Olita has started seeing a therapist. Olita now fears for her safety, even while doing mundane tasks such as going to the grocery store. A few times, Olita described seeing something out of the corner of her eye thinking it may be Busbin and this scared her.”
The post about Wilkinson’s murder in Maryland made Olita frightened “that her life was in danger as she was the primary focus of Busbin’s angst,” according to the complaint. “Olita felt that if she continued to do her job, she may suffer the same fate.”
Olita also said she was aware from his social media posts that Busbin, his new wife, and his brother were planning “some type of armed protest” at the courthouse on Nov. 17.
“This concerns Olita as she has a full court docket that day and cannot simply not go to work,” the complaint states. “She is fearful of going to work knowing that Busbin, his wife, his brother, and others will be armed at the courthouse.”
Another judge who ruled against Busbin for allegedly violating a protection order told the FBI that he started carrying a gun in response to Busbin’s threats, and said he now takes extra security precautions when leaving his home, according to the complaint.
When FBI agents interviewed Busbin’s former wife, she described years of emotional and physical abuse, the complaint says. Busbin was someone who always had to get his way, and he would “do anything” including “telling lies,” to achieve that. If he could have killed her and gotten away with it, Busbin’s ex-wife told agents, he would have, the complaint states.
She then related a shocking story to the agents, echoing her 2021 testimony on the stand during the divorce proceedings. During their marriage, Busbin and his ex had a dog, which he kept after the two split, the complaint continues. Busbin had a new girlfriend, who called his ex one night to seek advice about how to handle his alleged domestic abuse. When the ex asked about the dog, which her children said they hadn’t seen in a few days, the new girlfriend said the animal had run off while Busbin was drunk. When the dog came back home, Busbin “slit the dog’s throat and burned the dog in the fire pit in front of [the new girlfriend] and her two-year-old daughter,” according to the complaint.
In late October, Busbin was involuntarily admitted to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital on a psychiatric hold. There, he “self-diagnosed” with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder. After his release on Nov. 1, the Army restricted his movements to the base for seven days. The order will expire on Nov. 9, after which it will either be revoked, which would allow Busbin to return to his home off-post, or renewed for another week, according to the complaint.
Busbin is charged with one count of cyberstalking, which carries up to five years in prison.