SALT LAKE CITY — An Ogden woman federally indicted for calling in multiple bomb threats against the Ogden district courthouse was given credit for time served and will be released Wednesday morning, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.
Tonisha Chontae Lester, 45, who is also listed in court documents under the name Tamara Lanit Lester, entered a guilty plea Tuesday to one count of threatening the use of explosives, a federal felony. In return, two other counts of the same charge were dropped.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson ruled that Lester, who has been held at the Davis County Jail without bail since April 26, 2018, had served enough time in jail to cover her sentence. Benson ordered that Lester be placed on supervised probation for the next three years.
Lester will be released from the Davis County Jail on Wednesday morning, according to federal court records.
The Ogden woman was first arrested in April after she called in three separate bomb threats on consecutive Thursdays to Ogden’s 2nd District Court.
Each time, the building was evacuated and searched before investigators discovered no signs of a bomb could be found. The threats closed the court for hours at a time, preventing hearings from taking place and hindering members of the community from utilizing the court’s services.
Lester called in the threats to prevent her reported boyfriend, Jerry Kenton Larkin, from having to go to court for a DUI case against him.
Out of dozens of hearings at the district court on those days, only Larkin had hearings scheduled for the times the three bomb threats were called in, according to a probable cause statement. Larkin was ultimately not charged in connection with the threats, but was later indicted on drug charges.
Lester, on the other hand, had her case transferred to Davis County to avoid a conflict of interest with Ogden judges. However, state charges were dropped against Lester when federal charges were later filed.
Officials said Lester was federally indicted under Ogden City’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, an effort aimed at decreasing violent crimes within specified areas that has lead to over a dozen federal indictments within a specified area of the city.