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Police: Woman called in bomb threats to cancel boyfriend's court dates

OGDEN — Police say a woman called in three bomb threats to an Ogden courthouse in order to keep her boyfriend from going to jail.

The calls came a week apart from each other, on April 5, 12, and on Thursday, when the man, Jerry Larkin, was due in court in a DUI case. Each time, police swept the courthouse and determined there were no explosives.

"The male suspect had court appearances on those specific dates, and the female was the distractor in trying to get the court proceedings canceled," said Ogden Police Capt. Danielle Croyle.

Larkin and Tonisha Lester, both 44 years old, were arrested and booked in Weber County Jail Friday, Ogden police said. Lester was booked for investigation of three counts making a false alarm; Larkin on a warrant issued after he failed to appear in court.

Investigators determined that Larkin was the only person scheduled to appear in court those three days, according to a probable cause statement.

Police wrote in the statement that Larkin "confessed that Lester had made the bomb threats to keep him from going to jail," and "indicated they argued over what she had done." The report identifies him as Lester's boyfriend.

On Friday, police served a search warrant on an Ogden apartment at 120 Dan St. and found the pair inside, plus another person. Officers took the three into custody, but did not provide information about the third person, who was not booked into jail.

After the first threat the morning of April 5, police swept the courthouse and reopened the building about noon, allowing court to resume in time for Larkin's 2 p.m. hearing. But he did not appear and the appointment was continued.

He was scheduled for referral to DUI court, which helps offenders get treatment and monitors their progress as their cases are adjudicated.

The second threat came in the afternoon of April 12, ahead of his next scheduled appearance at 2 p.m, and this week's threat came in near the same time of his appointment, scheduled for 3 p.m.

In December, Larkin pleaded not guilty to DUI, a 3rd-degree felony; driving with some amount of alcohol in his system despite being a restricted driver, a class B misdemeanor; and driving with a revoked license, a class C misdemeanor, in 2nd District Court.

Court records indicate Lester has no criminal record. Larkin has several prior convictions for drug possession and DUI.

Croyle warns anyone else found making such a threat in order to avoid a hearing will also be arrested. She said the unfounded reports delay justice and burden the courts.

"It's not legitimate and it's serious enough that they will be charged for felonies," she added.

Contributing: Brianna Bodily