UPDATE, SEPT. 28, 1:40 P.M.:
KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Kingwood man has been charged with making terroristic threats after deputies say he left a bomb threat in the Preston County Magistrate Court’s voicemail box on Friday.
According to a criminal complaint, the message was left at around 8:22 a.m. and said “Judge Shaffer, you and all the other crooked bastards are going to see what it’s like to lose a loved one today whenever this bomb goes off in that building.”
Then, at around 9:03 a.m., the Preston County Circuit Clerk’s Office received a phone call from a man “stating a bomb would be going off in the building within a few minutes,” the complaint said.
Both are inside the Preston County Courthouse. Deputies say the building was evacuated before it was eventually deemed safe.
Investigators say a phone number showed up on the caller ID, so they contacted the cell phone carrier, which gave them the IP address the call was made from.
Through the investigation, deputies say they were able to determine that Douglas Toots Close made the bomb threat, and when an investigator spoke with Close, “it was quickly apparent his voice seemed to be the same that had left the bomb threat voicemail.”
Deputies say Close denied making the threat but did admit to being in the area of the IP address the threat came from at the time the threat was made.
Close was charged with making terroristic threats. He is being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $500,000 cash-only bail.
ORIGINAL, SEPT. 22, 11:57 A.M.:
KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Preston County Sheriff’s Office said an incident is under investigation late Friday morning as the county’s Office of Emergency Management said the courthouse would be closed for the rest of the day.
12 News reached out to the 911 center, and comm center officials said to reach out to the Preston County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said that “the incident is currently under investigation,” and was unable to share any further details.
According to a Facebook post by the Office of Emergency Management, the courthouse closure will not impact the Preston County Annex, which houses the Assessor’s Office, Health Department, Tax office, County Clerk, and County Commission office.