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SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) -
The mother of a Worth County teen charged with threatening to blow up the high school insists her son is innocent. Stacy Nelson says her child had no reason to phone in a threat to 911, but investigators say they have a good case against him.
Nelson's son had his first hearing today on charges of terroristic threats and acts. He's one of six Worth county students charged in three separate bomb threats, the youngest just 10 years old.
While she contends her son's innocence, police say they're not only confident he did the crime, but that it will result in a conviction.
"I know without a shadow of a doubt that my son is innocent." Stacy Nelson says it came as an absolute shock when officers arrested her son Wednesday for threatening to blow up Worth County High.
"It's like this right here, by me being a parent, if you do the crime you do the time. I would never uphold my child in anything like that." Nelson says it was impossible for her 16-year-old son to have phoned in the threat Monday afternoon to 911.
She contends he was with her at the time and had no access to a cell phone. Through an open records request we obtained the audio of that call. "I'm going to blow up the school," the caller says.
We played that recording for Nelson who heard it for the first time. "My child been set up. That's not my child," she said.
"We haven't gone and hand picked one individual student and said this has got to be him," said Sylvester Police Investigator Ronnie Graddy. He says the phone threat which set off a series of copycat written threats at Worth Middle and Elementary schools, was investigated thoroughly and the evidence they have against the 16-year-old is substantial.
"We would not have effected the arrest and taken this juvenile into custody if we didn't feel like we had sufficient evidence to prove his guilt," he said.
Nelson says her son was home sick that day and had been in trouble before at school. She believes that may have led to the accusation. Still, she feels the real caller is still out there.
"Please come clean and free my child because he didn't do this. That's not my child," she said.
"I don't have fault with this mother for defending her child. But I think the facts of this case will present itself in due time," said the law man.
And that 16-year-old is being held in the RYDC in Eastman. Police would not go into detail about the evidence they have in the case but say it's in the hands of the district attorney who will prosecute in juvenile court.
Just this morning a Worth Elementary student was charged with writing a bomb threat message on a bathroom wall. It was one of five bomb threats at Worth Schools since last week.