No Wrist-Slap: Dereon Kelley Gets Almost Three Years for Texas State University TSU Bomb Threat

Categories: Crime, Education

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Dereon Kelley: Writes of his innocence to hometown newspaper.
Kids, if you're thinking of getting out of that final you never studied for by phoning in a bomb threat to the school, think again.

Dereon Tayronne Kelley, 22, may not have been trying to miss a test, but he communicated a bomb threat to Texas Southern University Texas State University last October, a federal jury found, and the judge ordered him to prison for 33 months. Almost three years, with three years of close supervision upon his release, for essentially a single bomb threat.

The Bryan man was also ordered to pay a $300 fine and pay $15,548.93 in restitution.

It could have been worse in these post-9/11, post-Boston Marathon days -- he could have gotten ten years. So there's that. Not to mention that he's also been accused of following up his Texas State threat with one to A&M, although he's not been convicted of that.

Kelly was found to have used his former girlfriend's cell phone (to him she was just a temporarily "estranged" girlfriend, we're sure) to send three different e-mails containing bomb threats on October 19, 2012. The threats were sent to the Texas State office where the woman worked.

Kelley "attempted to convince the jury that the crime was committed by some other person," prosecutors said. "However, this assertion was contradicted by the e-mail header and cell phone service provider records."

The trial took two days, and the jury deliberated about an hour -- not long at all.

Kelley avowed his innocence not just in the courtroom but in other ways. In November, he wrote from behind bars to the Bryan-College Station Eagle. The four-page handwritten note is not quite Letter From Birmingham Jail, but his basic point was he didn't do anything wrong. (He also notes, "I grew up reading the Eagle and always look [unintelligible] to see who the dog will pick to win games. Suck-up!! Kelley's referring to the paper's "Beat the Dog" contest, which we'd link to except the Eagle's Web site is currently wacky.)

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United States Courthouse

515 Rusk St., Houston, TX

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