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Gregory Van Tatenhove

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Gregory Van Tatenhove
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #5T
Service:
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   1/5/2006 - Present
Preceded by:   Karl Forester
Personal History
Born:   1960
Hometown:   Los Angeles, CA
Undergraduate:   Asbury College, B.A., 1982
Law School:   University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 1989

Gregory Frederick Van Tatenhove is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. He joined the court in 2006 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.[1]

Early life and education

A native of California, Van Tatenhove graduated from Asbury College with his bachelor's degree in 1982, and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1989.[1]

Professional career

Van Tatenhove started his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Eugene Siler of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, where he worked from 1989 to 1990. From 1990 to 1994, Van Tatenhove served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1994, Van Tatenhove became Chief of Staff and Legal Counsel to Kentucky Congressman Ron Lewis until 2001, when he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Van Tatenhove served in that role until his appointment to the federal bench in 2005.[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Kentucky

On the recommendation of Senators Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell, Van Tatenhove was nominated by President George W. Bush on September 13, 2005, to a seat vacated by Karl Forester as Forester went on senior status. Van Tatenhove was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 21, 2005, on a Senate vote and received commission on January 5, 2006.[1][2]

Notable cases

Teenager sentenced for threatening to kill federal judge and prosecutor (2014)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky (U.S. v. Collins)

On February 27, 2014, Judge Van Tatenhove sentenced 19-year-old Michael A. Collins for threats made against District Judge David Bunning, Magistrate Judge Edward Atkins, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Denney.[3]


In the underlying case, Collins's father, John Collins, was sentenced to eleven years in prison following his conviction for possession of child pornography. Collins was enrolled in a National Guard program for at-risk teens at the time of his father's sentencing, and in December 2012, he disclosed to a program counselor that he intended to spend Christmas with his family before killing the judges, prosecutors, and police involved in his father's case.[3]


After he was indicted on three counts of threatening to kill federal officers, mental health professionals assessed Collins as a significant threat. Collins asserted an insanity defense in January 2013, but later changed his plea in February 2014 when he reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors to drop one of the charges he faced.[4][5] Judge Van Tatenhove sentenced Collins to two years in prison.[3]

See also

External links

References

Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Karl Forester
Eastern District of Kentucky
2006–Current
Seat #5T
Succeeded by:
NA


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