New Castle News

Updates

June 22, 2013

California man charged in jail threats

NEW CASTLE — The suspect in three local bomb threats would have traveled quite a distance to carry them out.

Taylor Jordan Nicolls, 22, of Orland, Calif., is wanted for three threats he allegedly phoned into the Lawrence County jail from his cell phone at 7:40 p.m. June 15, at 1:02 p.m. Tuesday and at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday.

New Castle police have learned he is hospitalized in California following an appendectomy.

Nicolls was identified this week as the alleged caller in three separate bomb threats, where a male voice said he was going to blow up the jail.

New Castle police say they matched the caller’s phone number with a TracFone registered to Nicolls.

Although Nicolls lives out of state, he leaves a trail of crime behind him in Lawrence County and is wanted on multiple bench warrants here for probation violations.

Nicolls also is wanted on two active warrants in New Castle — one for theft-related charges that city police filed against him May 14, and for felony charges filed against him yesterday for allegedly making the threatening calls to the jail.

He is charged with three counts each of terroristic threats to cause serious public inconvenience, threats to use weapons of mass destruction, and obstruction of administration of law or other governmental functions.

City police, fire departments and ambulance units were summoned all three times to surround the jail following the threats, and the jail was on lockdown for extended periods for those days, when no one from outside was allowed to enter the building.

New Castle police served a search warrant with Comcast for the incoming calls to the jail, which showed a phone number with a “530” area code on all three dates.

Police then obtained a search warrant for the TracFone, and learned Nicolls owned the phone with that number, which had the calls to the jail logged on it.

County prison board chairman David Gettings said yesterday that he spoke with the police and “they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to get him back here.”

He believes Nicolls might have been making the calls to the jail from his hospital room.

“We just want that kind of thing to cease,” Gettings said.

“It’s bothersome that we have our men and women officers putting their lives on the line, and we sure don’t want anyone hurt over there.”

Nicolls’ most recent bench warrant was issued May 16 by the Lawrence County courts for violation of a probation sentence from 2012 after he had pleaded guilty to a terroristic threats charge.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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