Dropout charged in Connecticut college bomb threat appears in court

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2014 5:59 PM

By Richard Weizel

MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - A college dropout accused of calling in bomb threats to a commencement ceremony in Connecticut to keep her family from learning she was not graduating made her first court appearance on Monday since her arrest and arraignment last month.

Danielle Shea, 22, has admitted making the two telephone threats to Quinnipiac University so the graduation ceremony would be canceled, police said. She faces charges of threatening and filing a false report, with each charge carrying a potential sentence of one year in prison, officials said.

Shea, of Quincy, Massachusetts, has been free on $10,000 bail since her arrest. On Monday, Judge Philip Scarpellino of the Superior Court in Meriden set her next court date for July 7.

The former honor roll and dean's list student arrived at the graduation ceremony wearing a cap and gown. She was accompanied by her mother and other relatives, who did not know she had dropped out, police said.

Shea told police she panicked when her family noticed her name was not listed among the graduates.

About 5,000 people, including the 388 graduates, cleared the area, according to a university spokesman. The ceremony was delayed 90 minutes and moved a mile away to a different campus of the university in Hamden, Connecticut.

Police traced the calls to Shea's cell phone. No explosives were found on campus.

(Editing by Edith Honan and Jim Loney)