CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (March 10, 2017)…Less than four weeks after being sentenced to serve at least 11 years of incarceration for making false bomb threats in Burke County, a West Virginia man was sentenced for similar crimes in Catawba and Caldwell counties.
Cody Matthew Startt, 27, of Matoaka, W.Va., pleaded guilty to 71 counts of making false bomb reports, one false bomb report to a public building and 72 counts of terrorism in Catawba County Superior Court Friday morning, and he entered guilty pleas to 58 counts of making false bomb reports, three counts of a false bomb report to a public building and 61 counts of terrorism in Caldwell County Superior Court Friday afternoon.
The Honorable W. Todd Pomeroy, Superior Court Judge from Lincoln County, imposed active sentences in both the Catawba cases and the Caldwell cases. Those sentences will run concurrent to the sentence of 11 to 21 years Startt was given by Pomeroy in Burke County and will be served in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
Additionally, the judge imposed a civil judgment against Startt in the amount of $821,450.25 in Catawba County and $60,225 in Caldwell County as restitution to the businesses affected by the defendant’s threats.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Lippert arraigned the defendant and presented a factual basis for the case prior to District Attorney David Learner’s sentencing argument on behalf of the State.
Startt pleaded guilty to 253 counts of terrorism and 251 counts of making false bomb reports in Burke County Superior Court on Feb. 13, 2017, and was given a prison term of 11 to 21 years. Judge Pomeroy also imposed judgments in Burke County for an additional 10 to 20 years of suspended sentences for Startt and placed him on supervised probation over a period of 36 months. If he violates the terms of his probation, those sentences can be activated, and Startt will serve the time at the end of his initial active sentence.
He was arrested on July 6, 2016, in West Virginia for making more than 400 bomb threats in Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties following a large-scale investigation by local, state and federal authorities.
The defendant was convicted in October 2015 on three counts of making false bomb reports in May 2015. When he was arrested last summer, Startt admitted to violating terms of his probation by absconding from supervision, being in arrears of court indebtedness and failing to complete court-directed community service. His probation was revoked in July 2016 in Catawba County, activating a prison sentence of four to 14 months that Startt served in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
Learner and Lippert prosecuted the cases for the District Attorney’s Office.