Houlka man pleads guilty in powdered letter hoax



By David Helms

Pontotoc Progress

PONTOTOC – A Houlka man who was indicted by a Pontotoc County grand jury in May 2014 on a charge of false representation of exposure to a harmful bio substance has pled guilty to that charge and has been sentenced.

Bobby Carl Hill, 72, of Houlka, pled guilty to the charge on May 19 in a vacation term of Prentiss County Circuit Court.

Hill’s case had been set for trial in Pontotoc County Circuit Court on April 12, but the case was continued.

When Hill pled guilty on May 19, Circuit Judge Jim Pounds withheld adjudication of guilt and imposition of sentence and ordered that Hill be placed on three years supervision by the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Judge Pounds fined Hill $1,000 and ordered him to pay court costs and $3,076.17 in restitution to hoax victim Frank Wilson, owner of Pool Specialists in Pontotoc.

Hill was also ordered to pay $200 restitution to the Pontotoc Police Department and $200 to the district attorney’s office.

According to the 2014 indictment, “on or about Sept. 4, 2013, Bobby Carl Hill did willfully and unlawfully cause Billy Frank Wilson to falsely believe that he had been exposed to a biological substance or harmful chemical device by placing an unidentified white powder substance in an envelope and mailing said envelope via the U.S. Postal Service to the business of Frank Wilson.”

On the day of the incident Wilson told authorities he opened the letter at his Pool Specialist business on West Oxford Street.

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