Benji Chap Morrow called in bomb threats at area schools and a hospital in western Jefferson County on Jan. 17 as a diversion to a robbery he had planned, authorities said. He is charged with three counts of making a terrorist threat and one count of first-degree robbery.
On Jan. 17, threats against schools in Hueytown and Pleasant Grove, as well as UAB Hospital West, were called into the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Hueytown police responded to Hueytown High School and Hueytown Middle School. Students were sent home. The threats also targeted three Pleasant Grove schools, which resumed classes at 10:20 a.m.
While lawmen responded to the threats at the schools and UAB West, they said Morrow hit the Rock Creek Pharmacy. After entering the business, he pulled a handgun and robbed the pharmacy of cash and drugs.
A stolen truck believed to be driven by Morrow was found burned a few miles away.
Chief Deputy Randy Christian on Thursday said anonymous tips led sheriff’s investigators to Morrow. He was taken into custody about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at his Parrish home.
Morrow is charged in the threats to Hueytown Elementary, Pleasant Grove Middle School and UAB West Hospital. He is charged with three counts of making a terrorist threat and one count of first-degree robbery.
He is being held in the Jefferson County Jail with bond set at $105,000. Christian said detectives learned Morrow called in the bomb threats in an effort to draw law enforcement away from his intended target.
Morrow, he said, has denied any knowledge or involvement in the crimes.