SIUE student charged with threats asks for bond reduction

By The Associated Press

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A Southern Illinois University student accused of writing a note threatening a “murderous rampage” similar to the one at Virginia Tech wants a judge to lower his $1.1 million bond.

Olutosin Oduwole, 22, was charged last week with attempting to make a terrorist threat in the note police say was found July 20 in his disabled car on the university’s Edwardsville campus, shortly before his arrest on unrelated computer fraud and felony theft charges.

Oduwole remained jailed Wednesday on $1 million bond on the threat-related charge, as well as $100,000 for the fraud and theft counts. Oduwole, an aspiring rapper who has pleaded not guilty and is to appear in court Friday, must post at least 10 percent of the amount in cash – $110,000 – to be freed.

In a bond-reduction motion filed Tuesday on Oduwole’s behalf, the student argued the bond “far exceeds the financial resources” of Oduwole and his family. If freed, Oduwole “presents little risk of flight” and could live in the St. Louis area with his mother or brother, the motion reads.

Investigators said the note demanded payment to a PayPal account, threatening that “if this account doesn’t reach $50,000 in the next 7 days then a murderous rampage similar to the VT shooting will occur at another highly populated university. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!”

Police say the note – scrawled on a sheet of paper that included rap lyrics – made no direct reference to targeting SIU’s campus.

About a week earlier, a gun dealer had notified federal authorities that Oduwole seemed overly anxious to get weapons he had ordered online, according to an affidavit filed in court by a police detective.

Oduwole’s friends and family have called the case a misunderstanding.

After Oduwole’s arrest, Madison County prosecutors filed a request in the fraud case to have his mental fitness examined by a psychologist, arguing “there is a bona fide doubt” as to his fitness.

The bond-reduction request came just days after a judge ordered that Oduwole, if freed, must remain at least 1,500 feet away from the Edwardsville campus. Prosecutors said in a motion that the school “has reason to be concerned of the defendant causing harm to anyone at the university.”