Judge Halves Sentence for Paragould Man Convicted of Anthrax Hoax

APRIL 22, 2004 - Posted at 7:28 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - In response to an order from an appeals panel, a federal judge has cut a two-year sentence in half for a man convicted in calling in an anthrax threat to a Paragould school.

A three-judge panel of the Eighth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis had directed U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson, Jr. to resentence 33-year-old Christopher Martin Cole.

Cole's new one-year sentence comes with three years' supervised release.

The federal panel sent the case back to Wilson in February.  The judge said the circumstances of the crime presented in court didn't call for a sentence greater than the six to twelve months set out in the federal guidelines.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)