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Bomb threats net 2-year sentence

Judge: Offense too serious for probation

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

PRINCETON – The man responsible for calling in two bomb threats to north Princeton businesses in December 2011 and January 2012 was sentenced to 2 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

“Probation would deprecate the seriousness of this offense,” Bureau County Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei said Friday when sentencing Kristofer Watson, 25, who pleaded guilty to felony disorderly conduct on Feb. 26.

Watson also was ordered to pay $4,635 in fines and costs, and $1,090 in restitution to the city of Princeton. With time served and good behavior, he could be released in 6 months.

Watson called the AmericInn in Princeton on Dec. 10, 2011, to say there was a bomb at the Burger King restaurant. He made a similar call to Culver’s Restaurant regarding a bomb at McDonald’s restaurant on Jan. 4, 2012.

In a statement to the court, Watson said he has unresolved emotional issues, wasn’t thinking logically when he called in the threats, and had no intention to hurt anyone.

“I understand completely that what I did was wrong, and it should never have happened,” he said. “I would never dream of doing anything like that again.”

Bureau County State’s Attorney Patrick Herrmann asked for 3 years. “I don’t see a connection between calling in the bomb threat and any mental illness,” Herrmann said.

Watson’s other attorney, Robert Boucher, said Watson has been making the right decisions since his release from jail in February 2012. He has appeared in court regularly, has had no subsequent offenses, is in counseling, and has received prescription medical treatment.

Bernabei said he based his sentence on factors including Watson’s criminal history, which included several convictions, including two for violent misdemeanors, and the seriousness of a bomb threat in the light of the current environment.

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