JEFFERSON-After leaving first responders scrambling throughout the month of August due to a series of bomb threats on local businesses, an Ashe County man was sentenced to a minimum of 22 months in prison in district court Thursday for orchestrating the calls.
Bobby Allen Pennington, 39, pleaded no contest to making a false bomb report and making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. He was sentenced to two separate terms of 11 to 23 months in prison. Those sentences will run consecutively. The state dismissed two of the bomb threat charges and his misuse of the 911 system charge.
At least eight bomb threats were phoned in to area locations in August, including at least four specifically made against Walmart. The threats first began on Aug. 1. Then on Aug. 7, a caller indicated a bomb had been placed somewhere within the nearby rappelling tower at Ashe County High School before later calling Walmart to say a bomb had been placed inside the store.
In addition to his legal woes with making phony bomb threats, Pennington has also been charged with in connection with a recent Fleetwood fire. Authorities said Pennington identified as the suspect in a fire on Mack Woodie Road in Fleetwood on May 28.
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.