A Lockwood man who called 911 five days after a school massacre in Connecticut and threatened that there would be a school shooting here was sentenced Thursday in Yellowstone County District Court.
Rodney Dale Wilm, 52, was ordered to serve a five-year suspended sentence for felony intimidation.
Judge Mary Jane Knisely agreed to impose the suspended sentence as recommended by prosecutors on the condition that Wilm complete the Veteran’s Court Treatment program.
The judge rejected a request from Wilm’s public defender for a deferred sentence, saying Wilm’s act terrified the community.
Wilm apologized, saying he had been drinking heavily and was upset at the time over the loss of his girlfriend and the death of his son.
“I’d never shoot a child or hurt a child,” Wilm said.
Prosecutors initially said they would recommend Wilm receive a sentence that included three years in state custody, but agreed to alter their recommendation based on Wilm’s acceptance into the treatment court.
Wilm called 911 at about 2:10 a.m. on Dec. 19 and stated: “Be a school shooting tomorrow.” He then hung up.
The threat came five days after a gunman killed 20 children and six staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Yellowstone County deputies arrested Wilm after authorities tracked the cellphone used to make the threat to Wilm’s residence at 1412 Omaha St. in Lockwood.
Wilm pleaded guilty to the felony charge in April.