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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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AG Appeals Dismissal of Terror Charge

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - The Illinois attorney general asked the state Supreme Court to intervene after an appeals court threw out the conviction of a former student accused of threatening a shooting rampage at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville.

Olutosin Oduwole, now 27, was charged in July 2007 with attempting to make a terrorist threat. Campus police found what they believed to be a threatening note in his abandoned vehicle.

The note allegedly threatened a "murderous rampage" similar to Virginia Tech, unless $50,000 was deposited in a Paypal account.

Oduwole claimed the note was just lyrics to a rap song he was writing.

A Madison County jury convicted him in 2011 of making a terrorist threat; he was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

He was freed in March after a state appeals court found insufficient evidence for the conviction .

Appellate Judge Judy L. Cates found that prosecutors failed to show Oduwole had taken a substantial step toward carrying out the threat.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants the state Supreme Court to take another look.

"This Court's review is warranted because of the importance of the question presented," Madigan's office wrote in a petition for leave from appeal.

"In crafting the Terrorism Act, our legislature found 'the devastating consequences of the barbaric attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, underscore the compelling need for legislation that is specifically designed to combat the evils of terrorism. Terrorism is inconsistent with civilized society and cannot be tolerated.'"

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