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Teacher pleads guilty in Calhoun County school bomb threat case

EAST ST. LOUIS – A Calhoun County High School teacher who left a typed note threatening to blow up the school where she worked has pleaded guilty to a charge in the case.

The United States attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, said Michelle Lynn Smith, 36, of Jerseyville, Illinois, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a one-count indictment charging her with conveying a false threat.

 On April 28, authorities responded to a potential bomb threat at the Calhoun County High School in Hardin. The response was prompted by the discovery of a typewritten note in the ladies’ restroom. The note read as follows:

“This school is going down today. KABOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im tired of all the people here. Everyone is going down, the school will b n flames. It is so stupid here. I cant take it ne more. The teachers suck and don’t do ne thing to help u. All that matters is what ur name is. If I had certain names I would not have the truble I do. Don’t matter, this place sucks and will not be here for long. So long and GOOD-BYE!!!!!!!!!”

Authorities immediately evacuated the school and notified the parents of the students. The Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad and Capitol Police K-9s conducted a search of the building, but no explosives were located. Following these events, law enforcement collected evidence and conducted interviews which lead to the criminal charges the following day against Smith, who was at the time a teacher at the high school.

Wiggington said she continues to remain in detention.

Sentencing is set for Dec. 15 The charge carries maximum penalties of five years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Illinois State Police, with the assistance of the Calhoun County State’s Attorney, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, Jersey County Sheriff’s Department, the Jerseyville Police Department, the Illinois Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad and Capitol Police K-9s, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Coonan and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John Constance.

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