Make your home page

Indiana man gets probation for fake anthrax threats

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (AP) – A central Indiana man who admitted sending three police officers threatening letters containing a harmless powder that the notes claimed was anthrax has been sentenced to probation.

A judge sentenced George Alan Kinser to a four-year suspended sentence with four years of probation Thursday after the New Castle man pleaded guilty to three counts of terrorist mischief.

Kinser’s public defender, Jeffrey Galyen, said mental health professionals had found his client to have a mild mental disability but to be capable of understanding the charges against him.

The 51-year-old admitted under questioning from Gaylen that he sent letters containing talcum power to three Henry County police officers’ homes last April. Kinser told the court he regrets doing so.

The letters claimed the powder was anthrax, a bacteria that’s particularly dangerous when inhaled, The Star Press reported.

One of the charges Kinser faced was initially filed in Marion County because the wife of one of the targeted officers opened the letter from Kinser – and in the process spilled the talcum powder – while in Indianapolis. That count was later transferred to Henry County.

Prosecutor Joseph Bergacs said none of the three officers who received the letter objected to Kinser’s plea deal.

Henry Circuit Court Judge Mary Willis said she believed the plea agreement “insured both public safety and a just resolution.”

Galyen said Kinser is living in a local homeless shelter, but efforts are continuing to have him placed in a group home.

“We’re very hopeful that can be accomplished in the near future,” he told the court.