Man charged with making bomb threat at Preston County Courthouse

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 10:59 AM EDT
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KINGWOOD, W.Va (WDTV) - A Kingwood man has been charged after authorities say he made a bomb threat at the Preston County Courthouse.

The Preston County Circuit Clerk’s Office received a phone call on Friday, Sept. 22 at around 9 a.m. from a man, later identified as 59-year-old Douglas Close, saying that a bomb would be going off in the building “in a few minutes,” according to a criminal complaint.

Prior Coverage: Police investigating bomb threat at Preston County Courthouse

Deputies say the bomb threat ultimately led to the building being evacuated.

After the building was deemed safe, authorities say a voicemail was found that had been left at about 8:20 that morning with the Preston County Magistrate Court saying, “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.”

Court documents say authorities used cell phone carrier information, IP addresses, and an email address to determine Close as a suspect.

Authorities also learned of a woman who Close said he had previously been with was due for a hearing on the same day as the bomb threat at the courthouse, according to the criminal complaint.

Although authorities say it was “apparent” that Close’s voice was the same as the one left the voicemail and the one that called the Preston County Circuit Clerk’s Office, he “denied any involvement in the bomb threat.”

Close has been charged with terroristic threats. He is being held at Tygart Valley Regional Jail on a $500,000 bond.