Crime

Officials: Felon called in a bomb threat, then walked into court

Willie Smith, 33, Gulfport, was transferred to Harrison County jail to appear in court Sept 12 for false reporting of a bomb/explosives. Smith allegedly attempted to flee court by calling in bomb threats.
Willie Smith, 33, Gulfport, was transferred to Harrison County jail to appear in court Sept 12 for false reporting of a bomb/explosives. Smith allegedly attempted to flee court by calling in bomb threats.

A Gulfport man who officials said used a bomb threat as a distraction in an attempt to escape from court will face a judge again later this month.

Assistant District Attorney Crosby Parker said Willie Eddie Smith Jr., 33, was sent back to Harrison County from the Mississippi Department of Corrections on a charge of false reporting of bomb/explosives.

Smith was in Harrison County Court in April 2015 on a felon carrying a concealed weapon charge. A jury convicted him of the crime and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Smith had allegedly used his cellphone before he went into court to report several bombs had been placed around the courthouse. As the verdict was being read, an alarm sounded and Smith tried to run out of court by jumping over courtroom chairs, then-Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said at the time. A security officer subdued Smith with a Taser.

Investigators were able to track the cellphone back to Smith. They will present their evidence at Smith’s Sept. 12 appearance.

Smith also has a pending charge of credit-card fraud.

Sun Herald reporter Robin Fitzgerald contributed to this story.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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