SPC Student Charged For Terroristic Threat - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/28/08

SPC Student Charged For Terroristic Threat

Courtesy: Hockley County Courtesy: Hockley County

A South Plains College student now faces prison time for allegedly making a terroristic threat.

Melinda Ainsworth, 46, of Levelland is in the Hockley County Jail, accused of calling in a bomb threat to four buildings on the South Plains College campus in Levelland. Authorities arrested Ainsworth late Thursday, more than two weeks after the threat disrupted campus.

On March 11th, just before 9 a.m. someone started a scare at South Plains College in Levelland. "We took this threat very seriously," SPC Dean of College Relations Dane Dewbre said. 

An unknown caller made bomb threats on four different locations, the administration building, science building, technical arts and creative arts buildings. Multiple agencies responded to campus, but they didn't find a bomb. So, the South Plains College Police started searching for a suspect.

According to the police report, threats were called into 911 from the Wal-Mart and Allsups in Levelland. Investigators collected surveillance video from both locations and found the same car left both stores shortly after each call was made.

They also identified a female suspect who walked into Wal-Mart shortly before the threatening call was made, and left shortly after. Investigators showed the image to staff and instructors on campus. Police also had them listen to the 911 call. The report says all those asked recognized the photograph and audio to be Ainsworth.

Further investigation revealed Ainsworth is a nursing student at South Plains College; authorities have not released a motive as to why she allegedly made these calls, but Ainsworth is now charged with making a terroristic threat, which is a third degree felony.

"Our students safety is a priority for us, and again, we're very thankful to the law enforcement officials that have been and are currently involved," Dewbre said. 

Ainsworth faces up to ten-years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine if convicted. This case is now in the hands of the Hockley County District Attorney's Office.  

You my be wondering why you didn't hear about this threat when it first happened.  As a general rule, NewsChannel 11 does not cover threats when none is actually found, but we wanted to show you how seriously authorities take these situations, and the type of punishment someone faces for making this type of threat.

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