Texas man sentenced for planting fake bomb at courthouse steps

A Texas man has been sentenced to over three years in prison for planting a fake bomb at his county's courthouse steps in April.

37-year-old David Paul Finnegan of Odessa pled guilty in June to one count of perpetrating a hoax and was sentenced this week to 41 months in federal prison.

According to court documents, Finnegan left a suspicious device at the front steps of the Ector County Courthouse on April 7. The device consisted of a large PVC pipe containing miscellaneous objects with a wristwatch taped to it and held together by black tape.

An explosive disposal team was called in to examine the device, which was determined to not contain explosives.

Further investigation revealed Finnegan was scheduled to have hearings at the courthouse the day he planted the device. The courthouse was evacuated and shut down to the public for much of the day due to the hoax, causing various court proceedings to be postponed, including Finnegan’s.

Finnegan has been in federal custody since his arrest on April 14.