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Felony charges have ex-student facing prison on bomb threat

Disgruntled students have said a lot of uncomplimentary things when they are unsatisfied with their college grades, but such anger rarely goes to the extreme of calling in a bomb threat against the school. That is what a 32-year-old man allegedly did recently when he threatened a bomb attack at Colorado Mountain College if his grades were not raised. He was charged with the felony of false reporting of an explosive device and numerous other serious charges.

The accused may not agree with the severity of the situation, judging from his published mug shot taken at the Lake County Sheriff's office. He is proudly displaying a wide grin in the photo, as though awaiting a cherished medal or a large cash prize. It is reported that the man was last a student in the fall semester. The police were apparently led to a backpack planted in the library, but they found nothing dangerous in the bag.

The school was put on an informal lock down while authorities searched the library and other areas of the school grounds and buildings. The charges include also criminal extortion, resisting arrest, menacing and harassment. The fruitlessness of the unachievable threat and the unprecedented broad smile in the arraignment photo indicates the possibility of mental and emotional problems that may need treatment.

An insanity defense may not be successful under Colorado law due to its exacting requirements, but nonetheless the man's seemingly bizarre behavior indicates that the mental condition should be territory for defense counsel to explore. At the very least, such circumstances are mitigating in nature and may sway the court to see the need for mental health treatment rather than incarceration with hardened offenders in a state correctional facility. A strong and seasoned defense counsel will examine that possibility and attempt to minimize or avoid the punishment on the felony charges accordingly.

Source: gazette.com, "Sheriff: Colorado Mountain College bomb threat suspect was unhappy with grades", Feb. 14, 2017

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