Idaho Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Hoax

Idaho Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Hoax

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Alex Cabrero ReportingA professor who teaches history is learning a lesson of his own. Idaho State University professor Thomas Hale has been released from jail here in Salt Lake, but he will have to come back in March to face charges he threatened a woman with a biological illness.

This all began when Hale recently filed for bankruptcy. It all looked good until his bankruptcy trustee found out he was hiding a house he owned here in Salt Lake City. When the trustee asked Hale about this house, she says he became violent towards her, and later sent a fax saying to watch out for an orange envelope containing something she'd need a hazmat team to check out.

Idaho Professor Pleads Not Guilty to Hoax

When that envelope arrived with Hale's return address on it, she called police. In it was something wrapped up with a note saying termites, or hantavirus, question mark. A lab determined it wasn't anything dangerous, but now Hale is in big trouble.

Timothy Fuhrman, Federal Bureau of Investigation: "We have to ensure that individuals in our court system, and individuals acting in our court system, are free from intimidation, and acts of potential violence. And the FBI and the US Attorney's Office takes these particular situations very seriously."

Larry Keller, Hale's Attorney: "There's a lot more to this, sir, there's no question about it. Frankly, having only been on the case for only 24 hours now, I'm, not even sure of what all the facts are, but they will all come out in court, I will assure you."

Hale was released from jail today with conditions ranging from no contact with that bankruptcy trustee, to getting a mental health evaluation. He's been a professor at ISU for 23 years now. He'll be back in court in early March.

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