No Wrist-Slap: Dereon Kelley Gets Almost Three Years for Texas State University TSU Bomb Threat

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Kids, if you're thinking of getting out of that final you never studied for by phoning in a bomb threat to the school, think again.

Dereon Tayronne Kelley, 22, may not have been trying to miss a test, but he communicated a bomb threat to Texas Southern University Texas State University last October, a federal jury found, and the judge ordered him to prison for 33 months. Almost three years, with three years of close supervision upon his release, for essentially a single bomb threat.

The Bryan man was also ordered to pay a $300 fine and pay $15,548.93 in restitution.

It could have been worse in these post-9/11, post-Boston Marathon days -- he could have gotten ten years. So there's that. Not to mention that he's also been accused of following up his Texas State threat with one to A&M, although he's not been convicted of that.

Kelly was found to have used his former girlfriend's cell phone (to him she was just a temporarily "estranged" girlfriend, we're sure) to send three different e-mails containing bomb threats on October 19, 2012. The threats were sent to the Texas State office where the woman worked.

Kelley "attempted to convince the jury that the crime was committed by some other person," prosecutors said. "However, this assertion was contradicted by the e-mail header and cell phone service provider records."

The trial took two days, and the jury deliberated about an hour -- not long at all.

Kelley avowed his innocence not just in the courtroom but in other ways. In November, he wrote from behind bars to the Bryan-College Station Eagle. The four-page handwritten note is not quite Letter From Birmingham Jail, but his basic point was he didn't do anything wrong. (He also notes, "I grew up reading the Eagle and always look [unintelligible] to see who the dog will pick to win games. Suck-up!! Kelley's referring to the paper's "Beat the Dog" contest, which we'd link to except the Eagle's Web site is currently wacky.)

Follow Houston Press on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews or @HoustonPress.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.