Bomb threat forces evacuation of parish courthouse

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – The Concordia Parish courthouse was evacuated Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was called in to the Seventh Judicial District judges’ office.

The bomb threat was called in at 8:41 a.m. to the office shared by judges Leo Boothe and Kathy Johnson, said Kathleen Stevens, spokesperson for the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.

&uot;Someone with a male voice said, ‘There’s a bomb in the building’,&uot; Stevens said.

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The building was evacuated until 9:27 a.m. and deputies searched the building but found no bomb, she added.

The records of all incoming calls to the judges’ office will be subpoenaed.

Investigators are considering the possibility that since court proceedings were being held Wednesday, the caller might be someone who was scheduled to appear in court, Stevens said.

Court was delayed for about one hour but resumed after the evacuation.

Stevens noted that not only courthouse personnel, but others doing business at the courthouse – including elderly and disabled people – were inconvenienced by the threat.

&uot;And it’s also a federal offense&uot; to call in such a threat, Stevens added.

Thursday’s threat is the fourth bomb threat in the Miss-Lou in the past two months.

On Dec. 14, two Natchez boys, ages 10 and 12, were turned in to police by their parents for allegedly calling in a bomb threat to Robert Lewis Middle School the day before.

In October, bomb threats were called in to Natchez High School and Copiah-Lincoln Community College, but no arrests have yet been made in connection with those cases.