CALIFORNIA IN BRIEF : SAN DIEGO : Man Given 10 Years for Bomb Threats

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A loner who called in more than 300 false bomb threats to airlines was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a San Diego federal judge who said there is no room for leniency when it comes to disruptive threats to the nation's air transit system. William A. Risley, who had been jobless, collecting welfare and living in a $15-a-night downtown San Diego hotel when arrested last year, had asked U.S. District Judge J. Lawrence Irving for a two-year term, saying he made the threats to distract himself from his feelings of hopelessness. Irving flatly rejected Risley's plea for mercy. The judge said he viewed the threats--called in over a nine-year period from public phones in San Diego, San Francisco, Detroit and Washington--as "extremely serious antisocial conduct" that "caused havoc in nationwide air travel." Officials believe Risley cost the airline industry more than $1 million as frantic pilots returned to airports and inspections were conducted on runways.

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