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Man from Springfield is jailed for Clever High School bomb threat

By Shayla Patrick, spatrick@ky3.com
Mike Coonrod, mcoonrod@ky3.com
Published On: Apr 09 2014 05:43:25 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 09 2014 06:47:46 PM CDT

Investigators say the false report may have stemmed from an argument Helms had with the student's mother

CLEVER, Mo. -

Bobby Helms, 48, of Springfield is in jail and accused of claiming a student would bomb Clever High School last week.  Investigators say the false report may have stemmed from an argument that Helms had with the student's mother earlier in the day.

Now that student, Jared McGuire, 18, is dealing with the aftermath of false allegations against him.

"You kind of get made fun of, being called a terrorist in class," said McGuire.

Facing his peers at Clever High School has been a lot tougher since being blamed for the bomb threat. 

"Dispatch received a transfer from Greene County 911 regarding a phone call that they received.  The way it was stated is that the student was on the way to place [a bomb], not that there was one there," said Christian County Sheriff Joey Kyle.

Authorities responded to the call, but a search of the building came up dry.

"We didn't believe that there was an actual device [in the school building] but that's not something that you just ignore," said Kyle.

Some parents feel the situation was not handled properly by the school district.  The threat happened just minutes from the end of the school day, so administrators dismissed early to get students out of harm's way.  They did not notify parents through the district wide emergency communication system.

"I dropped the ball on it.  I admit that.  I've apologized to everyone who has spoken to me about it," said school district superintendent Richard Henson.

Administrators say the incident was handled correctly according to district policy. They've reviewed safety protocol, issued apologies, and are ready to move past it. 

Moving on might be a little more difficult for the student at the heart of it all.

"Everyone just looks down upon me now that I got blamed for that," said McGuire.  "It wasn't me and [other students] have no reason to even talk to me about it anymore."

Helms was in the Greene County jail on Wednesday evening in lieu of a $20,000 bond.  He's charged in Greene County because investigators said that's where he made the call.

If Helms is convicted, he could get a prison sentence up to four years for making a false bomb report.  Here's how that charge reads:  "A person commits the crime of making a false bomb report if he knowingly makes a false report or causes a false report to be made to any person that a bomb or other explosive has been placed in any public or private place or vehicle."