MARIETTA, Ga. (CN) – The man accused of threatening to bomb two Georgia courthouses this week is being held without bond on eight felony counts, including making a terrorist threat and obstructing or intimidating an officer.
Jody John Wilson was arrested Tuesday after a telephone threat warned that bombs had been put at the Cobb and Cherokee County courthouses.
Wilson’s home was scheduled to be sold at foreclosure that morning on the Cherokee County Courthouse steps, sheriff’s officials said.
He is suspected of making a similar threat in January, for the same reason. Four of the felony charges and one of two misdemeanors he faces stem from the January incident.
Both Cobb and Cherokee counties are in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Wilson runs a popular diner across from the Cobb County Courthouse, on Marietta Square. Court workers, attorneys and law enforcement officers often eat lunch at the Starlight Diner. Many this week found it hard to associate the Wilson they knew with the man who was arrested.
“I cannot believe that he would or could do such a thing,” Cobb County State Court Deputy Clerk Lee Cook told Courthouse News.
Cook said she ate at the Starlight at least once a week.
“He had a routine of giving a free breakfast or lunch to someone down and out, hanging around the Square,” Cook said.
“There’s a few regulars who are homeless and are struggling, and I’ve watched him feed more than one for free.
“Also when I’ve ordered lunch for our staff, he’s come by personally to deliver the food and to sit and chat. Something really bad must have happened to make him do something like that.”
Wilson’s wife and co-owner of the Starlight, Lidya, kept the restaurant open this week, but declined a request for an interview. The diner was busy, half full, on Thursday afternoon.
Another court worker, who did not want to be identified, said, “I liked the food there, but there was just something that seemed ‘off’ about the guy.
“It was just weird. I loved going there, but if I took a week off or didn’t show up, the next time I would come in he would sort of badger me about why I didn’t come in and ask whether I was eating somewhere else on the Square.
“He wouldn’t let it go, and it became uncomfortable. I mean, I’m not saying that he was unfriendly or crazy, but his reactions were just sort of uncomfortable for me.”
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker attributed the threats to the foreclosure sale of Wilson’s Woodstock, Ga. home.
“It appears his sole motivation was to disrupt the foreclosure proceedings that day.”
A Cobb County sheriff’s officer, speaking not for attribution, said that Wilson was taken to a hospital Thursday for a psychological evaluation.
Details about the case in the Cobb County Magistrate’s computer system have been sealed, though his arrest warrant and jail booking report were available.
Wilson is charged with eight felony counts and two misdemeanors in Cobb County. He also is expected to face charges in Cherokee County.
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