By John L. Ross
One of the two defendants facing second-degree terroristic threatening charges in connection with a bomb threat at Williamsburg Plastics appeared before Judge Fred White in Whitley County District Court Monday.
Robin Wade Campbell, 25, of Williamsburg, appeared with Public Defender Jim Wren for his preliminary hearing.
The second suspect, Amanda Lorine Rogers, maiden name Johnson, 30, of Jellico, Tenn., was scheduled to appear Monday as well. However, her maiden name was listed on the docket, which doesn’t match the Whitley County Detention Center records. As a result, she was apparently not brought to the courthouse.
She remains jailed under a $5,000 cash bond. She faces one second-degree terroristic threatening charge as well as charges for non-payment of fines. Her preliminary hearing is now scheduled for Wednesday.
In court Monday, Assistant Whitley County Attorney Gary Brittain called the first witness — Whitley County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy KY Fuson.
Brittain asked the circumstances linking Campbell to the bomb threat at the Williamsburg Plastics plant.
Fuson testified that the defendants in this case are first cousins.
He explained that Campbell contacted Rogers in the effort to get out of work. “He called and instructed her to use (the phone) from (a) sister’s house where they couldn’t trace it,” Fuson said, adding that Campbell had promised $30 to Rogers “for drugs” if she did as requested.
Fuson also testified that Rogers actually made the call. “She did say she would blow it (the factory) up,” Fuson said.
Several moments passed as Brittain continued to review paperwork on this case, then ended his questioning.
Wren began his questioning for the defense. “(So) the bomb threat was made by Amanda Johnson (Rogers),” Wren said.
Fuson said it was made by her.
Wren the questioned why Campbell was given the same charge when he didn’t actually make the call or the threat. It was explained that since she allegedly made the phone call at the directive of Campbell, that Campbell was then guilty of the same charge.
Fuson was asked whether he had interviewed Campbell — and answered that he had on two occasions.
“The first time was on (Feb.) 21st, (but he) was not detained,” Fuson testified. “(Campbell) basically said he had nothing to do with it.”
He added that Campbell admitted he “told her he’d give her $30 for a pill (to get him) out of work quicker.”
Fuson was also asked whether there was a “romantic” relationship between Rogers and Campbell. “I hope not,” he said.
Fuson also testified that Campbell had initiated contact with the sheriff’s department. “He called me and said he’d heard about it,” Fuson said.
He added Campbell was not in custody at that time, and wasn’t in the sheriff’s department.
The second time Fuson said he interviewed Campbell was after his arrest Feb. 26. Fuson explained after he was read his rights, he spoke for 30-45 minutes before invoking his right to an attorney.
During that time Campbell allegedly told Fuson he wouldn’t have taken off of work that day because he needed the money. Fuson testified that Campbell had said the company offered for him to be off that day. However, Fuson then added that after questioning supervisory personnel at Williamsburg Plastics, Campbell was apparently “not offered to be off” work, and would “miss (work) all the time.”
Fuson also added that had Campbell gone home the day of the bomb threat, for any reason, he would have been fired.
Wren then asked the court to dismiss the case. “The court is free to amend this case to complicity (to commit terroristic threatening),” Wren said, adding his client did not make “any sort of threat by phone or otherwise.”
However, it was found that there was probable cause for the charges, and Campbell’s case was bound over to the grand jury. Campbell remains free on bond.
On Feb. 21, a phone call came into the Williamsburg Plastics plant, and the female caller said there was a bomb in the building.
Nearly 100 first-shift employees were evacuated from the building, and bomb-detecting canines were brought to the scene. Both dogs independently “hit” on the same location near the locker area of the second floor.
No bomb was found — the dogs were hitting on materials found in the plant which could be used in preparing a bomb.
Rogers was arrested in Jellico that same day. Campbell’s arrest came days later.