Man sentenced for threatening "mass murder" at Lerner Theatre

Published: Apr. 1, 2016 at 11:36 AM EDT
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A man has been sentenced for threatening "mass murder" at Elkhart's Lerner Theatre.

On August 29, 2015, a patron at the theater reported disruptive and threatening behavior from a guest.

Elkhart police located Thomas Townsend and observed signs of intoxication. Townsend was escorted to the lobby and later left in a cab.

The cab driver who transported Townsend from the theater told police Townsend appeared “drunk” and seemed very upset about being kicked out of the theater.

On August 31, an employee at Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre received a voicemail that threatened “mass murder” at the next concert.

The Elkhart Police Department responded to the call and began investigating.

Detectives were able to determine that the call came from Townsend.

Charges of intimidation and public intoxication were filed on September 17, 2015, and on March 9, 2016.

Townsend pleaded guilty to the intimidation charge with all terms left up to the court's discretion, but the State agreed to dismiss the public intoxication charge.

At the sentencing hearing on March 30, Judge Lund of Elkhart’s Superior Court Four sentenced Townsend to the maximum sentence on a level 6 felony of 2.5 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.