Connection found between suspects in Texas State and Texas A&M bomb threats

David Maly

A connection has been made between the man charged with making a false email bomb threat against Texas A&M University on Oct. 19 and the woman charged with making three false email bomb threats against Texas State University on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19.

The Texas A&M University Police Department arrested Dereon Tayronne Kelly, 22, of Bryan in connection with a bomb threat that was emailed to Texas A&M’s Computing Information Services Department on Oct. 19, forcing the evacuation of the entire university. Allan Baron, Texas A&M police spokesperson, said Kelly is an acquaintance of Brittany Nicole Henderson, 19, who was arrested Oct. 23 by Bryan police for making one email bomb threat against Texas State on Oct. 18 that forced the evacuation of three campus buildings and two email bomb threats the next day. University operations were not affected by the second and third bomb threats.

Texas A&M and Texas State police said no bombs were found in either case. The targeted area of Texas State, its admissions building, was searched Oct. 18, and the entire Texas A&M campus was searched Oct. 19.

UT received a false phone-in bomb threat that prompted the evacuation of the campus Sept. 14. Bob Harkins, associate vice president of Campus Safety and Security, said UT officials do not believe the threat is related to the bomb threats made against Texas A&M and Texas State.

According to a press release issued by Texas A&M police Monday, Texas A&M Police Department investigators, the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies were able to link Kelly to the threat through his cellphone, and Henderson remains a person of interest in that case.

Daniel Benitez, captain of operations for the Texas State University Police Department, said Henderson’s arrest came after Texas State police were able to link the threat to her email account.

Kelly was arrested at the Brazos County Jail, where he was being held for unrelated charges. He has been charged with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Henderson was charged with three counts of making a terroristic threat and three counts of making a false alarm, a misdemeanor.

Kelly and Henderson remain in the Brazos County Jail. Kelly is being held on $150,000 bond each and Henderson on $300,000 bond.

Printed on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 as: Link found in bomb threats