Ex-airport screener ordered held in threats
LOS ANGELES — A judge on Monday ordered a former Los Angeles International Airport security screener to be held without bond after he was accused of making threats that forced the evacuation of several terminals.
U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Walsh said Nna Alpha Onuoha, 29, was a flight risk and suggested he had undergone a mental “break” and was acting irrationally when he allegedly made the threats around the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Some terminals at Los Angeles International Airport were closed for hours while authorities investigated. However, a bomb squad found no explosives or harmful contents in a package that authorities said Onuoha had sent to a Transportation Security Administration manager.
The FBI has said no other people were linked to the threats.
Onuoha, shackled and wearing a white prison jumpsuit, said nothing during the hearing in which the judge repeatedly said he did not trust him to act rationally if released.
“He was $15,000 in debt. He did not have a job. He had threatened to blow people up and he signaled to his family they would never see him again,” the judge said.
Prosecutors asked the judge for a competency hearing and to hold Onuoha as a danger to the community, but Walsh said those issues should be handled by the judge who ultimately hears the case.
Walsh said he would reconsider if the defense presents evidence from a doctor that Onuoha is suffering from a mental illness.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Federal workers owed more than $3.5B in 2014 taxes
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- Watchdog: Policy over visas broke, but not law
- Damaged Jersey shore pier to be rebuilt
- Indiana governor defends religious objections bill signed into law
- Special operations troops are denied commercial intelligence analysis software for missions
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Big croc predated dinosaurs, roamed North Carolina region
- Feds arrest guardsman, cousin for terror plot on military facility
- Bergdahl, speaking for 1st time, claims 12 attempts to flee Taliban