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Teacher Accused of Terroristic Threats Pleads to Reduced Charge

Teacher Accused of Terroristic Threats Pleads to Reduced Charge

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A former Bountiful Junior High math teacher originally charged with terroristic threats has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of harassment.

Sandra D. Wariner, 57, appeared Tuesday before Judge Thomas L. Kay, who continued sentencing until Nov. 23.

Wariner was accused of saying on May 27 that "she would bring a loaded shotgun to school and shoot the principal and others" if she were not given certain classes.

Kay asked why the charges had been reduced three steps, from a second-degree felony to a class B misdemeanor. Wariner's attorney, Nathan Pace, said the harassment charge "most accurately reflects what happened."

Pace said Wariner had been depressed for a number of years due to her husband's illness and death from cancer, as well as her own medical problems and was considering suicide.

Pace said according to the report Wariner did not pose any risk of violence. She resigned from the Davis School District where she has worked off and on since 1974. She was hired in 1987 at Bountiful Junior High School.

The state school board has also suspended Wariner's teaching certificate. It could be reinstated after review of the case, Pace said.

"You need to understand she has lost everything. She has been a model citizen. You'll never see her again," Pace said.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Rick Westmoreland presented a letter from victims asking the judge not to send Wariner to prison or jail, but to ensure that she receives therapy.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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