Youngstown bomb threat suspect pleads guilty in federal court after he is ruled competent

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Larese Allen was charged with phoning in a threat to the Youngstown Municipal Court so he could delay his court hearing

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man charged with phoning in a bomb threat to the Youngstown Municipal Court facility pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court after a court-ordered evaluation found he is competent to stand trial.

Larese Kenneth Allen Sr., 27, entered guilty pleas before U.S. Judge Sara Lioi in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to one count of using a telephone to phone in a bomb threat and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 8.

An affidavit in the case said a person called the court about 1:30 p.m. June 1 and told the person who answered the phone: “B——, we’re coming from Cleveland to blow up your courthouse.”

The employee transferred the caller to her supervisor, and the caller repeated the threat two more times, the affidavit said.

Investigators were able to track Allen down by tracking his phone, which led to social media accounts and photos of Allen showing distinctive tattoos, the affidavit.

Searches also turned up an April 30, 2019 article on about an arrest Allen had by Youngstown police following a chase. He was free on bond and had a June 2 preliminary hearing in that case.

The affidavit said Allen told investigators Tuesday he made the bomb threat in order to delay his preliminary hearing, reports said. The affidavit said Allen wanted to delay his hearing so he could keep his visitation rights with his children.

Allen’s attorneys filed a motion in October that an evaluation be held to determine whether Allen was competent to stand trial and could assist in his defense, which Judge Lioi approved.

Allen entered his guilty pleas after a hearing Wednesday which determined he is competent to stand trial.

Allen is also accused of having an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on July 7 despite a 2014 conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on a 2013 robbery charge, which prohibits him from owning a gun.

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