Bomb threat suspect gets two years in prison

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A Princeton, Illinois man was sentenced to two years in prison after his failure to block caller ID helped police link him to bomb threats that caused evacuations at several businesses.

Kristofer Watson pleaded guilty to one count of felony disorderly conduct February 26, 2013.

The charge stemmed from bomb threats Watson called in to several businesses in December 2011 and January 2012.  Watson was accused of calling the AmericInn December 10 with a bomb threat against the Burger King restaurant.  The next month, police said Watson called the Culver’s restaurant  and said a bomb was about to detonate at the McDonald’s and Burger King restaurants.   Police evacuated the businesses and determined there were no explosive devices.

When they checked the caller ID at Culver’s, police discovered a call from Watson came in at 6:20 p.m. during which the caller hung up.  One minute later, the restaurant got the bomb threat call from a number blocked from caller ID.

By reviewing phone records, police linked both calls and the December 10 call to Watson. 

Watson faced a possible sentence ranging from probation up to five years in prison.

At his sentencing hearing, Watson’s wife Brandi testified her husband was being treated for mental health issues and she urged the judge to sentence him to probation rather than jail.   Bureau County State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann asked for Watson to be sentenced to three years in prison.

Bureau County Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei said Watson’s extensive criminal history and the seriousness of a bomb threat in today’s environment made him inclined to impose a prison term.  Bernabei said he chose a lesser term of two years in prison because Watson pleaded guilty, was seeking treatment and had kept his record clean in recent months.

With time served and good behavior, Watson could be released in six months.

(Thanks to our news partners at the Bureau County Republican for contributing part of this report.)