Not guilty plea made for alleged bomb threats

By Lauren Buches

‘ ‘ ‘ Former Pitt student Louisa Ewuresi Nkrumah pleaded not guilty to three charges of making… ‘ ‘ ‘ Former Pitt student Louisa Ewuresi Nkrumah pleaded not guilty to three charges of making bomb threats to University of Pittsburgh property at’ her arraignment hearing yesterday morning at the U.S. District Court in Downtown Pittsburgh. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ The indictment states that Nkrumah is charged with ‘use of a telephone to willfully threaten that real or personal property would be unlawfully damaged or destroyed by means of an explosive,’ specifically the Cathedral of Learning and Posvar Hall on April 9 and April 11, 2008, ‘ respectively. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Nkrumah spoke only once during the brief hearing to confirm that she understood her bail conditions. Her attorney, Cynthia Reed Eddy, entered the plea on her behalf as she sat motionless next to Eddy. Her parents sat tensely in the audience behind her. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Eddy said that Nkrumah had read and understood the indictment and declined to have her charges read again at the hearing. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ An unsecured bond of $10,000 was set to ensure that Nkrumah shows up for future court dates. Because the bond is unsecured, she does not have to pay anything unless she does not appear for court dates. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Presiding Judge Lisa P. Lenihan explained the terms of the bond to Nkrumah. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ The judge said that the defendant can only travel in the middle and western portions of the state of Pennsylvania, specifically so she can leave her home in Harrisburg to make court appearances at the U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Lenihan also told Nkrumah that she has to avoid all contact with any witnesses or potential witnesses in the case. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ According to the indictment memorandum on the case, if found guilty Nkrumah could face up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine, or both. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Margaret Philbin, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said that both the prosecution and the defense have until April 15, to make any pretrial motions. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ These motions include arguments that certain evidence cannot be allowed in the trial, certain people must or cannot testify or that the case should be dismissed. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ A trial date will be set in the future.