By The Associated Press
COLUMBUS – Three juveniles will face charges in connection with two bomb threats at two Lowndes County schools.
Two of the suspects are 15 years old and one is a year younger, said Greg Wright, chief deputy for the sheriff’s office.
Wright said deputies have recovered phones used to make the threats against New Hope and Columbus Middle.
Charges are pending against the teenagers, including a felony charge of false reporting of placing explosives, Wright said. If convicted of that charge, the maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, he said.
Columbus Middle School evacuated Friday morning after 911 received a call at 7:58 a.m. reporting a sniper and bomb threat. According to Columbus Police Department Investigator Raymond Hackler, the caller said if students or teachers tried leaving the building, shots would be fired or the bomb would be detonated.
Students re-entered the building around 12:30 p.m. after nothing was found.
New Hope schools were evacuated Thursday afternoon after two calls involving a bomb threat were placed to 911 at about 3:08 p.m. Many students had already left the campus since school dismisses at 3 p.m. The remaining students and teachers were routed to the football field while deputies waited for four canine units to search the elementary, middle and high schools for explosives.
Wright said Friday that deputies found no traces of explosives, suspicious packages or other items.
Searches were done by canines from the Columbus Air Force Base, Wright said