A man charged with threatening to kill a Charles County District Court judge was ordered held without bond Friday until his mental competency is determined.

Charles County sheriff's officials said Arthur B. Niles, 63, of Waldorf, wrote threats in a Nov. 13 letter to District Judge Richard A. Cooper, who had issued a restraining order barring Niles from having contact with Niles's son. In court Friday, Niles said he was accused of child abuse.

In the letter, Niles spoke about his love for his children. If he was prevented from seeing them, Niles wrote, "Then, I would have to come back to Maryland to kill you, your honor." He signed the letter "Respectfully Yours, The Criminally Insane, But Truthful, Arthur Niles."

"I am concerned about your competency to stand trial," District Judge Gary S. Gasparovic told Niles at Friday's bail hearing.

Niles said in court that he has written similar letters to several U.S. presidents, Pope John Paul II and many other judges. Niles, a native of the Virgin Islands, said he killed a man there in 1968, and authorities confirmed he had been charged with murder.

"I'm a killer. I'm not a child abuser," Niles said.

Niles was arrested near the Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Waldorf on Thursday. He was with his son, so he was also charged with violating the restraining order.

Niles asked Gasparovic to sentence him to death or a long prison term.

"Just keep me in a jail where I can be safe and you can be safe. Or put me in the gas chamber. I do not deserve to live because I have killed people and I am not sorry for what I did," Niles said. "I would be content and happy to be in jail, if you could find a cell for me to be alone."

Gasparovic referred Niles to the public defender's office.

-- Michael Amon