Etta man charged with bomb threat to Ashley Furniture in Pontotoc County

An Etta resident has been arrested for calling a bomb threat to the Ashley Furniture Industries manufacturing plant last Wednesday morning.

Sheriff Neal Davis said that Douglas E. Holland, 192 County Road 249, Etta, is being held in the Pontotoc County Jail on charges of false reporting of a bomb.

The call came into the 911 dispatch at 9:43 in the morning. The sheriff’s department, Ecru Police Department and the fire departments were immediately dispatched to the scene.

“The officials at the plant did not have the folks leave the plant,” Davis confirmed. “They wanted to find the alleged bomb on their own.”

Davis did note that protocol is that the employees should leave the plant, “all it takes is that one to be real.”

While the officers and emergency personnel were dealing with the on-scene situation investigators were busy tracing the call that came in to the 911 office.

“They were able to trace it to an individual in the plant,” Davis said. “We were about to leave when we got the call that the caller was in the plant. We went back in and questioned the individual and subsequently arrested him.”

Davis said he was pleased the matter was resolved quickly. “We were able to get a confession within two hours of the call. This is the first time that we have acutally been able to catch someone and get an arrest in a short amount of time.”

Judge David Hall has set a $100,000 bond to assure the appearance of Holland to answer to charges of calling in the bomb threat.

At his initial appearance in court Thursday morning for the charges were read to him and a bond was set.

“You are charged with false reporting of bomb explosions of weapons of mass destruction at the Ashley plant,” Judge Hall read from the arrest sheet. He looked at the suspect. “These are serious charges,” he said. “This concerns me because it is a real threat to the community.”

Judge Hall set the bond at $100,000. “However,” he warned “if you make this bond and you come before the court on another case against you this bond will be revoked and you will sit in jail until you answer to this charge.”

The next grand jury date to determine if there is sufficient cause for Holland to be indicted is January 16, 2012.

Regina Butler/Pontotoc Progress