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Utah County Jail

Ex-coach convicted of threatening Eagle Mountain school arrested again

By Pat Reavy, KSL  |  Posted May 20th, 2018 @ 1:14pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — A former college basketball coach with a history of mental illness who was convicted of threatening to blow up an elementary school in 2016 was recently taken into custody again.

Christopher Dewitt Craig, 36, of Saratoga Springs, was re-arrested recently after authorities say he stopped taking his medication as ordered by a judge, threatened his family, and prompted the school he terrorized two years ago to be placed on alert again, according to several court documents.

In September of 2016, Craig — dressed in a green tunic, a ski mask and what appeared to be a turban — drove to Eagle Valley Elementary, parked his car on the sidewalk near the entrance of the school and claimed he had a bomb. The incident prompted a large law enforcement response. No weapons or explosives were found.

After he was arrested and charged with making a threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony, and other misdemeanor crimes, issues surrounding Craig's mental competency were addressed several times in court.

In 2017, Craig pleaded guilty to making a false alarm in exchange for the other charges being dropped. His prison sentence of one to 15 years was suspended and he was placed on five years of probation. Prosecutors recommended his charge be dropped to a misdemeanor if he successfully completed a "zero tolerance" probation.

But on April 24, Saratoga Springs police received information that Craig was no longer taking his medication and "was having a mental breakdown," according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

"Craig's wife contacted officers and told them she had been receiving emails from Craig. The emails were consistent with emails he had sent in the past when he was unstable and no longer taking his medication. These emails talked about Craig coming back soon and the wife's dad and another person would have to fight Craig and he would provoke them to fight him," the warrant states.

Craig also sent threatening texts, voice mails, and made more threats to his family on his blog page, according to court documents. The blog posts included lengthy — often rambling — rants about several family members, laced with religious overtones and scripture verses.

From 2016:

On April 25, "Eagle Mountain schools were placed on alert" and Utah County sheriff's deputies "were placed in all schools," according to court documents.

On April 26, a warrant was issued for Craig's arrest. He was arrested on May 1.

According to the warrant, Craig was doing "fairly well" on probation until he got into a car crash on Easter.

"It seems after his crash he has spiraled downward," the affidavit states. "It appears he has not been taking his medications as prescribed and has slipped into religious paranoid."

Craig's attorneys have called for a new competency evaluation. He is scheduled to return to court on July 10 for a competency review.

Craig is the former head basketball coach at the College of Eastern Utah, a former assistant coach at Northern Colorado University, and former head coach at Midland College in Texas.

A 2014 Sports Illustrated article by George Dohrmann outlines how Craig's once promising basketball career was sidelined by mental illness. The article said Craig was diagnosed as bipolar with psychotic episodes following an arrest in 2013.

In 2014, police in Price say Craig, wearing a turban and a robe, went to his daughter's school and drove his car onto the playground. He was charged with disorderly conduct, driving on a suspended license and failing to give police his real identification. He pleaded guilty last year to attempted reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and failure to disclose identity.

Pat Reavy, KSL
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