NEW MADRID - A New Madrid teen made his first court appearance Thursday after being charged with making a false bomb report.
Cornelius Sutton, 16, appeared before Judge Charles Spitler Thursday in Division II of New Madrid County Circuit Court to be arraigned on the charge, which stems from an incident Oct. 2, when two reports of bombs, one at the New Madrid County Central Middle School and a later call reporting a bomb at the New Madrid County Central High School, were made.
Both schools were evacuated and as a safety precaution, school district officials also evacuated the district's three elementary schools. After an approximate two-hour search of the buildings by law enforcement and school officials, it was determined the bomb threats were false and students returned to their classes.
The calls, made to 9-1-1, were later traced to a stolen cell phone. From interviews conducted by officers and a tip, New Madrid County Sheriff's deputies arrested Sutton early Oct. 3.
Sutton was ordered to return to court on Oct. 16 for a preliminary hearing on the charge, which is a felony.
Sutton remains in the New Madrid County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.
According to court records, Sutton has previously been certified as an adult by the Stoddard County Circuit Court, where he entered a guilty plea to first degree attempted assault in March 2003. Because he was already certified as an adult, Sutton is considered an adult in this case also.
The maximum sentence for making a false bomb threat, which is a felony, is up to four years in the Department of Corrections.