GRANGEVILLE – Sentencing is set later this summer for a Grangeville man charged with last year’s bomb threat incident at Syringa Hospital.
At a District Court hearing last Friday, June 26, Tony L. Anderson, 49, changed his plea to guilty to false reporting explosives in a public or private place, a felony.
“Why, sir? I did indeed do that,” Anderson said in response to District Judge Jeff Brudie’s question on why he was pleading guilty to the charge.
Anderson’s sentencing is set for Aug. 20, the terms of which will be determined by Judge Brudie based on multiple factors including testimony and a court-ordered presentence investigation to be presented at that time, along with evaluation of the defendant by a court-appointed psychiatrist. On this felony, Anderson faces maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The charge resulted from an early morning incident Sept. 25, 2014, in which Anderson, who at the time worked as a hospital surgery technician, came to work before his shift started and allegedly used a facility phone to call in the bomb threat. According to Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor, Anderson made the call and then went to a nurse’s station to intercept it.
“No one was on the other line,” MacGregor said, alleging Anderson filled in the conversation with reactions on his end and then told the nurse a bomb threat had been made against the facility, after which he observed what the reaction would be to the call from hospital staff. MacGregor said Anderson later admitted to friends and also in questioning by law enforcement that he made the bomb threat.
As a result of the threat, Syringa Hospital went into lockdown for more than three hours; no patient evacuations were made, but scheduled procedures, clinic visits and patient meals were disrupted, and the emergency room was unavailable.
Grangeville Police Department investigated the case. Anderson is being represented by public defender Scott Olds.