Man, 18, arrested for Arias courtroom bomb threat


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 1:29 PM

Map: Value Place

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PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested an 18-year-old for allegedly threatening to explode bombs in the Jodi Arias courtroom and promising a deadly shootout with law enforcement officers.

Laquint H. Cherry, of Phoenix, was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on a felony charge related to acts of terrorism. His bond was set at $50,000.

According to the sheriff's office, after the guilty verdict in the Arias trial was announced Wednesday Cherry tweeted: "Planted some IEDs in the #jodi arias Superior Court room in Phoenix Arizona tomorrow I'll become a HERO and also shot by pigs once I unload."

Authorities contacted Twitter and Facebook and were able to obtain associated email addresses, which led them to Cherry. Deputies tracked him to the Value Place motel near McDowell Road and 43rd Avenue in Phoenix Thursday morning. A bomb squad and SWAT team responded to the scene.

Cherry refused to exit his motel room and barricaded himself inside. He continued to tweet threatening messages about not being taken alive and threatened to kill law enforcement officers surrounding him, according to MCSO officials.

Eventually, Cherry was arrested without incident.

Christina Hogan, who claimed to be Cherry's girlfriend of just a few months, was with him at the motel. She was questioned and released. Hogan said she met Cherry after friending him on Facebook.

On Wednesday, Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2008 stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander. Arias was scheduled to be back in court at 1 p.m. Thursday, but the death penalty hearing was postponed. Court officials did not provide a reason for the delay. Court proceedings will resume Wednesday.