A Waco man who pleaded guilty Monday to child sex offenses was later arrested after he tried to delay his court appearance by calling in a bomb threat to the McLennan County Courthouse, Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.
Patrol deputies arrested Chris Wayne Drake Jr., 31, at a family member’s house in Waco around 4:30 p.m., charging him with third-degree felony terroristic threat. His arrest came seven hours after his appearance in Waco’s 54th State District Court, where he pleaded guilty to five counts of indecency with a child by contact.
Before his plea hearing, Drake called in a bomb threat in hopes of postponing his sentencing, McNamara said.
“It is a very serious threat, and we take them all very serious,” McNamara said. “You cannot discount any of them.”
The threat prompted a brief delay while the courthouse was searched for any trace of explosive devices or other threats, McNamara said.
According to the arrest affidavit, the threat was called to dispatchers on the 911 line. The caller stated there was a bomb at the 54th “precinct” and “everyone is going to die,” the affidavit states.
The office’s new bomb detection dog, Kori, led by handler Cpl. Derrick Russell, worked the courthouse floors and found no scent of an explosive device. Bomb technicians led by Capt. Shawn Nixon investigated the threat and traced the call back to Drake, McNamara said.
“We now have the bomb dog through a partnership with the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), so that really enhances our efforts,” the sheriff said.
Phone records tied the threatening call back to the McLennan County Jail, and it matched with Drake’s outgoing call records, the affidavit states.
Drake’s plea bargain with prosecutors calls for him to be sentenced to five years in prison on each of the five counts. Judge Matt Johnson on Monday morning granted Drake’s request to postpone his sentencing for a week, but it is unclear how the new terroristic threat charge will affect the judge’s decision to accept the plea agreement.
In interviews with authorities, Drake said he was hoping to postpone his sentencing for a few weeks to spend more time with his family, Nixon said.
Judge Johnson ordered that Drake be held without bond at McLennan County Jail, where he remained Tuesday.
Drake’s attorney, Brian Pollard, did not return phone messages Tuesday morning.