UPDATE: Cody Startt of West Virginia has now been sentenced for pleading guilty to making false bomb threats in Catawba and Caldwell Counties.
The sentencing comes less than four weeks after a judge sentenced Startt to at least 11 years for pleading guilty to similar charges in Burke County. Startts recent pleas include 71 counts of making false bomb reports, one false bomb report to a public building, and 72 counts of terrorism in Catawba County, plus 58 counts of making false bomb reports, three counts of a false bomb report to a public building, and 61 counts of terrorism in Caldwell County, according to a release. Those pleas were entered Friday morning and afternoon in their respective county courts.
The judge imposed active sentences in both cases that will run concurrent to the Burke County sentence of 11 to 21 years, and officials say civil judgements of $821, 450.25 in Catawba County and $60, 225 in Caldwell County were also imposed as restitution to the businesses affected by Startt’s threats.
[Original post on February 13, 2017]
BURKE COUNTY N.C. — A man accused of making false bomb threats last summer in Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties will spend at least 11 years in prison after pleading guilty in Burke County Superior Court.
The man, Cody Matthew Startt, entered his guilty plea to 253 counts of terrorism and 251 counts of making false bomb reports, and given an active prison sentence of 11 to 21 years.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Lippert arraigned Startt and presented a factual basis for the case prior to District Attorney David Leaner’s sentencing argument on behalf of the State.
“His actions cost a huge amount of money to fire, police, and other emergency agencies and workers. All these units that had to respond to these bomb threats were not available to handle anything else going on,” Learner said. “Plus, he cost merchants a lot of money, and he caused a lot of fear throughout our communities.”
Chief Ronnie Rector of the Morganton Department of Public Safety also addressed the court, noting the stress that Startt’s actions placed on law enforcement with regard to treating each report as a real threat to life.
Startt was also given an additional 10 to 20 years of suspended sentences by Judge Pomeroy and placed on a supervised probational period over 36 months. It Startt violates the terms of his probation, those sentences will be activated, resulting in Startt serving the times at the end of his initial active sentence.
This would not be the first time Startt has demonstrated this behavior as he was convicted in October of 2015 on three counts of making false bomb reports in May of that year. When he was arrested last summer, Startt admitted to violating terms of his probation by absconding from supervision, being in arrears of court indebtedness and failing to complete court-directed community service.
His probation was revoked in July 2016 in Catawba County, activating a prison sentence of four to 14 months that Stratt served in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.