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False Terrorist Report Against Family Nets Man Probation

Spurned by family members who left him out of an event, an Oregon man got his revenge in a most public, disruptive fashion.

Sonny Donnie Smith, 38, was sentenced to three years of probation after he dialed in a terrorist threat that implicated his father and brother, who were both traveling through airports. He placed two anonymous phone calls to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, and Midland International Air and Space Port, in Midland, Texas.

Smith's father and brother were detained and questioned as part of an investigation, which eventually yielded no evidence of terrorist activity. The temporary detention caused Smith's brother to miss his flight.

US District Judge Anna Brown was reserved in her words to Smith: "I hope you appreciate what you did really did disrupt not just your family but the whole system,'' Brown said.

Smith was tearful and apologetic as he stood before the court, and his attorney Todd Bofferding requested that his sentence not include community service, because Smith's emotional needs were so pressing. Bofferding claimed his client suffers from high levels of anxiety and has been prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medication.

As if to confirm his counsel's advocacy, Smith burst into tears at the conclusion of the hearing.

Potential Preaching Angles: Jealousy can turn into immorality under the guise of pranking. When family members turn against each other, it's a sign of impending destruction. If we can't love our family members, it's difficult to love God.

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