By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 11, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for claiming there was a bomb on a university campus to distract police from an attempt to rob a bank, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said Monday.

The bomb threat in July 2014 prompted evacuation of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, but Devin Haywood of Lafayette didn’t even get into the bank he wanted to rob.

U.S. District Judge Richard Haik sentenced Haywood, of Lafayette, on Monday for the incident in July 2014, Finley said in a news release.

Haywood pleaded guilty in March to one count each of attempted bank robbery and using a facility in interstate commerce - a cellphone - to threaten or maliciously convey false information.

As part of that plea, he admitted calling a television station, claiming there was a bomb somewhere on the UL-Lafayette campus and another in a trash can in nearby Girard Park. Police found what appeared to be a bomb in the trash can, but it turned out to have been filled with soap.

The 1,500-acre campus was evacuated and activities, including summer classes for about 5,500 students, were canceled. About 400 incoming freshmen had been scheduled to start orientation that day.

Haywood’s plea also admitted that, about 10 minutes after calling in the threat, he hid behind an air conditioner at a MidSouth bank branch on the other side of Lafayette and jumped out as two women walked toward the bank before it opened, threatening them with what appeared to be a pistol. Both women ran to their cars and sped off.

Haywood told investigators that the gun was a plastic toy.

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