Ark. man gets $10,000 bail for Carmike Cinemas bomb threat

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 25, 2013 

Carmike 15 is located at 5555 Whitlesey Parkway in Columbus.

BILLY SMITH II

An Arkansas man made his first appearance in U.S. federal court in Columbus Wednesday on charges of phoning in a bomb threat last year to Carmike Cinema's downtown headquarters.

Keith Bowers of Jessieville, Ark., stood before Judge Stephen Hyles, following his indictment last week in Arkansas. He was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation the week prior.

Bowers, 59, is accused of making the phone call on Aug. 16, 2012, allegedly threatening to set off an explosive at a Carmike movie theater. He is charged with transmitting threats to interstate commerce.

Hyles set bail at $10,000 and ordered Bowers to have no contact with Carmike Cinemas, employees or anyone connected to doing business with the movie-theater company.

Federal prosecutors said Bowers faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

He is expected to travel back to Arkansas, then return here at a future date for a pre-trial conference. No dates have been set for proceedings.

At the time the threat was made, Columbus Police Lt. Bill Rawn said it may have been from a disgruntled worker because of the message left at Carmike. It said, "'You don't pay us enough. You cut back our hours. We're not expendable. We'll show you we're not expendable.'"

The bomb threat -- reportedly mentioning Atlanta-area Carmike theaters as well -- sent officials across the country investigating possible explosives planted in movie theaters, several news outlets reported.

Related stories:

Ark. man indicted in '12 Carmike bomb threat

FBI investigating Carmike threats; theater chain says suspect identified

UPDATE: Armed man arrested at 'The Expendables 2' pre-screening; police don't believe it's related to bomb threat

-- Stephanie Pedersen and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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