- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A Lafayette man has pleaded guilty in federal court to calling in a bomb threat that shut down the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Prosecutors say the threat was meant to divert police from a planned bank robbery.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1FKv11D ) Devin Haywood faces up to 10 years in prison for conveying false information about a bomb in Girard Park on July 16, 2014. He also pleaded guilty to attempted bank robbery. He faces up to 20 years for trying to rob a bank branch while police were busy looking for a bomb near the campus.

Haywood, who served eight years of a 10-year jail sentence for a bank robbery in Gretna in 2005, was on parole at the time of the offenses.

U.S. District Judge Richard Haik on Wednesday did not set a sentencing date. Haywood, 31, is being held at the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center.

The bomb threat forced the closure of UL-Lafayette, which was conducting summer school classes and hosting high school students taking part in events on campus. The university resumed classes the next day.

Prosecutors say Haywood used the threat as a ruse to occupy police agencies while he tried unsuccessfully to rob a branch of MidSouth Bank on Moss Street that morning. The attempt failed after two bank employees, who drove up to open the business, spotted Haywood crouched behind an air conditioner, holding what appeared to be a handgun. The gun turned out to be a toy.

“Law enforcement, emergency responders and others were called away from the important work to respond to a fabricated bomb threat,” Finley said. “Actions of this defendant created a very dangerous situation within the city of Lafayette,” U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said in a news release following Haywood’s plea.

“Law enforcement, emergency responders and others were called away from the important work to respond to a fabricated bomb threat,” Finley said.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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