Trial delayed for man accused of sending SIUC threats of beheadings, bombings

By Luke Nozicka, @LukeNozicka

A federal trial has been delayed for the man federal law enforcement say is responsible for sending bomb threat letters to the university which caused the evacuation of more than 2,000 students from Brush Towers in the middle of the night in September 2012, according to the Associated Press.

Twenty-one-year-old Derrick Dawon Burns’ trial was postponed from Feb. 2 to April 6 so he can undergo court-ordered testing to evaluate his mental fitness, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Burns, of Chicago, was arrested Sept. 29 on eight federal charges in connection to bomb and violent threats made against students and faculty in 2012 and 2013, announced Stephen R. Wigginton, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Seven of his fingerprints were identified on four of the seven letters in the case, according to the charges. Burns pleaded not guilty to the felony charges.


The letters, according to U.S. District Court case records, included threats such as rape, murder and blowing up buildings.

In a September interview, university spokesperson Rae Goldsmith said Burns attended the university in fall 2011, spring 2012, fall 2012 and fall 2013, where he was working toward a major in criminology and criminal justice.

Luke Nozicka can be reached at [email protected]