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Woman charged with issuing terrorist threat to court office

Woman charged with issuing terrorist threat to court office

■ Busbee arrested for call prior to drug test


Michael E. Palmer/staff
Winfield Police Officer Dustin Webb locks the door to the 25th Judicial District Court services office after obtaining a list of persons scheduled for drug tests on Thursday, May 30.

Article and photo contributed by The Journal Record

By Michael E. Palmer
Staff Writer

 WINFIELD -  A woman scheduled for a court-mandated drug test was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat after calling-in a bomb threat to the 25th Judicial District Court Services office in Winfield on Thursday, May 30.

Nancy Kathleen Smith Busbee, 59, Winfield, was apprehended without incident at her residence, 201 Freedom Street, at 6:22 p.m -- only three hours after allegedly making the bomb threat that drew response from multiple law enforcement agencies and brought a halt to all traffic in downtown Winfield.

According to Winfield Police Chief Brett Burleson, Busbee placed a call to Norris Music at 3:11 p.m. that day indicating that there was a bomb located next door in the judicial court office.

The office is the location where clients of the 25th Judicial District Court report for mandated drug tests.

“She (Busbee) was supposed to come in for a drug test and, it’s our belief, she knew she was going to fail the test and so she made the call to Norris Music,” Burleson said.

Burleson said a Norris Music employee who spoke to Busbee called the Winfield City Hall and was placed through to the police dispatcher who then called the Judicial office and told employees there that everyone needed to exit the building.

Burleson, who was at the courthouse in Hamilton at the time preparing for an upcoming murder trial, said he arrived in Winfield at 3:32 p.m. and found the main intersection and all of downtown Winfield blocked off by members of the Winfield Fire and Winfield Street departments.

Burleson said members of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department also arrived to help secure the scene and evacuate the downtown area.

Burleson said he placed a call to the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation field officer in Florence to let the officer know about the situation.

At 3:40 p.m., Burleson, along with Winfield Police Lt. Shane Dickinson Winfield PD officer Dustin Webb and Lt. Rusty Hulsey left all electronic devices such as phones and tasers in their vehicles in order to begin a sweep of the Judicial office. Burleson said those devices could have detonated an electronically controlled bomb. The men entered the judicial office and made a sweep of the multi-level building. No bomb was found.

Burleson said at 4:21 p.m., himself and Winfield Fire Chief Alan Stovall gave the “all clear” and traffic was allowed to flow freely through downtown Winfield.

Burleson said he then concentrated his efforts on finding the person who made the threat.

Hulsey contacted Norris Music’s telephone service provider and obtained a list of the calls made to the business, while Officer Dustin Webb obtained a list of people who were scheduled for drug tests that day.

Burleson said the call was made from a blocked number.

“We were able to unblock the number and triangulate the coordinates of the phone that the threat was made from,” Burleson said.
Burleson said the phone was traced back to   Freedom Street where Busbee lives.

Burleson and other officers arrived at Busbee’s home and took her into custody after determining the phone that was used to make the threat was located there. Burleson said Busbee was one of the clients scheduled to take a court-mandated drug test on Thursday.

“She was very abrasive with us,” Burleson said. “She was acting like we were wasting her time. But she’s in the county jail on a bench warrant from court referral and a charge of issuing a terrorist threat.”
Burleson said that on order of 25th Judicial Court Office Director Judie Osborn, Busbee was given a drug a test which she failed for methamphetamine.

Burleson said he was perplexed as to why Busbee would want to call in a bombthreat over a drug test.

“She wouldn’t have necessarily gone to jail if she had failed the drug test,” Burleson said. “She caused all these other issues and it could have been completely avoided.”

Burleson said he wanted to thank the Marion County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance. Burleson said he was extremely happy with the way the his officers, the Fire Department, and Street Department mobilized to take control of the scene.

“I am extremely pleased with Lt. Shane Dickinson, Officer Dustin Webb and Lt. Rusty Hulsey. They went above and beyond. I commend officer Webb for getting everybody out of the building and Lt. Dickenson for running the scene until I arrived. Lt. Hulsey was huge in his efforts in the computer work required to trace the phone number,” Burleson said.

Busbee is being held in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton and no bond has been set.

(When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.)

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