New details: How Ogden police identified suspect in courthouse bomb threats case

Jerry Larkin and Tonisha Lester. Photos: Weber County Jail; Gephardt Daily/Laura Withers

OGDEN, Utah, April 24, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Formal charges have been filed against an Ogden woman who police say called in courthouse bomb threats on three consecutive Thursdays when her boyfriend was scheduled before a judge.

Tonisha Chontae Lester, 44, faces three second-degree felony counts of making a false alarm alleging an ongoing imminent threat, stemming from incidents on April 5, 12 and 19.

Police say that of all the suspects scheduled for court appearances on those days, only one name appeared on all three dockets — that of Jerry Kenton Larkin, also 44 and the man with whom Lester lived on Ogden’s Dan Street.

“During Larkin’s post-Miranda interview, he confessed that Lester had made the bomb threats to keep him from going to jail,” the probable cause statement says.

“Larkin confirmed the dates of the bomb threats and indicated they argued over what she had done.”

Lester declined to talk about the case, the statement said.

So far, charges related to the bomb threats have been filed only against Lester.

The probable cause statement indicates that all three calls were made to a recorded court phone line, and sounded as if they were made by the same female. The calls came from a phone number that could not be traced to an account linked to an individual.

Officials checked records of calls made between Larkin and other people while he was in jail on DUI charges, and the same number that made the bomb threats was found to be a number Larkin had called or been called from, the statement says.

Officials then checked an address the couple had given when arrested earlier in Fillmore, and found the location of the Ogden apartment. Police checked with the landlord, and confirmed that one of his units was rented to Larkin and Lester, although eviction proceedings — for nonpayment of rent — were underway.

After¬†obtaining a warrant, police tracked the phone signal to the area of the couple’s apartment at times when she was at the residence, the statement says. At that point, a warrant to search the apartment was issued, and the phone used to make the bomb threats was located in Lester’s possession.

Charges were filed against Lester on Monday.



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