published Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Threat uttered at school nets Tennessee man 16-year sentence

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. — The first terrorism charges filed by Shelbyville police have led to a lengthy prison sentence.

According to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Tyrone Watts of Tullahoma was handed 16 years in prison on Friday in a confrontation at his stepson's school. The 43-year-old Watts must serve 35 percent of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Prosecutors said Watts was denied permission to check his stepson out of Thomas Magnet School in December because the custodial parent had not supplied a permission letter.

Investigators said Watts threatened to return to the school with an AK-47 rifle and kill everyone, then shoot himself.

Circuit Court Judge Lee Russell said it was "an enormous threat" that would not be tolerated.

Watts was convicted of attempted terrorism and disorderly conduct.

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