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Teacher accused of threat granted house arrest

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (AP) – A federal judge has ordered pre-trial house arrest for a western Illinois high school special education teacher accused of threatening to blow up her school.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson on Friday rejected requests by federal prosecutors that Michelle Smith be jailed without bond and undergo psychiatric testing.

The 36-year-old Jerseyville woman is accused in Calhoun County and federal court of leaving a computer-generated note April 28 in a restroom at the Calhoun County High School in Hardin. That’s about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis.

The letter prompted an evacuation of the 170-student school, but no bomb was found.

Smith was arrested the next day, and the school district is seeking her ouster.

Her public defender argues Smith had no means by which to carry out the threat.

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