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12:56 pm
Sat June 20, 2009

Bomb Threat to Controversial Judge

McAlester, OK – Bomb threat empties courthouse


McALESTER, Okla. (AP) Authorities say the Pittsburg County Courthouse was evacuated because someone called a bomb threat into the office of a judge.

The sheriff's department ordered the evacuation after the clerk of District Judge Thomas Bartheld received an anonymous call about 2:15 p.m. Friday implying that a bomb was on the premises.

Judges, employees, courthouse patrons, public officials and shackled inmates left the building while law enforcement officers conducted a sweep. No explosive device was found.

Bartheld has come under fire recently for signing off on a plea deal reached by prosecutors and David Earls, an ex-convict who pleaded no contest to rape and sodomy charges for raping a 4-year-old girl and received a one-year prison term.

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Information from: McAlester News-Capital, http://www.mcalesternews.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.