Grand Island man wants judge to throw out suspicious package case

Faces dozens of felony charges for terrorizing county employees in September
False bomb suspect wants case thrown out.
False bomb suspect wants case thrown out.(Hall County Jail)
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 2:05 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A Grand Island man accused of mailing a suspicious package to the Hall County Election Commissioner wants his case thrown out of court.

Clinton Garno, 31, of Grand Island, is charged with 38 counts of terroristic threats, one charge for each of the people who had to evacuate the Hall County Administration building Sept. 14. He’s also charged with one count of threats by using a false bomb.

Last month a judge ruled that there was probable cause to send the case to trial court. Now Garno’s case sits in Hall County District Court for possible trial.

Yesterday Garno’s attorney filed a plea in abatement, a common defense tactic in which the suspect asks the trial judge to dismiss a criminal case due to lack of evidence. In his plea, Garno’s attorney argued that there was no probable cause despite last month’s ruling.

Court records do not indicate any new evidence which would support the request to dismiss the case.

Abatement pleas are typically overruled by the trial judge in most criminal cases.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled Nov 20.

Court records show that a package about 2.5 feet long, three inches wide and with three black Styrofoam cushions attached to it was mailed to the Hall County election office Sept 14. A self-addressed envelope to the election commissioner’s office was on the package. Inside the envelope was a voter registration form on which was written “F### off NWO.” An investigator later learned that the abbreviation NWO stands for New World Order.

Inside the package was a small pump spray bottle with a blue liquid which testing later revealed was harmless.

Garno’s address is an apartment building near the Hall County Administration building. Investigators checking surveillance video identified Garno and a package similar to that found that morning at the administration building. Investigators traced some of the materials used in the package to Garno’s place of work.

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