The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 15, 2013

Sentencing set for June in local terrorist case

By Lora Scripps

— Sentencing has been reset for an Athens man convicted on charges of making a terrorist threat and bringing a shotgun onto school property.

Thomas Smoak, who was convicted on both counts Feb. 28 following a three-day trial in Limestone County Circuit Court, is facing 10 to 20 years. Circuit Judge Jimmy Woodroof Jr. will sentence Smoak June 5. Smoak’s previous sentencing hearing was delayed.

Smoak was accused of bringing a loaded shotgun to Athens High School property on May 25, 2010, after his son was suspended for five days for allegedly uttering a racial slur.

Smoak’s wife telephoned the school to warn school officials that her husband was angry and heading to the school with a shotgun.

The school was locked down, and Athens Police arrested Smoak after a vehicle matching the description entered, then exited, the school parking lot.

Inside the vehicle and within reach of the driver, police found a shotgun with one round in the chamber, five in the tube and three more bullets in his left shirt pocket.