PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Creve Coeur man was sentenced Monday to four years in prison for calling in threats to a Downtown Peoria hotel earlier this year.
Val C. Burks, 31, was to go to trial on three counts of falsely making a terrorist threat, a felony that carries possible prison sentence of four to 15 years but agreed to a deal with Peoria County prosecutor that saw two of the three counts dismissed.
In return, he was sentenced to the bottom of the prison range.
Burks was accused of calling the Hotel Pere Marquette on Jan. 19 and on Jan. 28.
Court records indicate there was a call to the front desk where a male voice was heard saying there was a bomb in the building before hanging up. The second threat came on Jan. 28 around 1:30 a.m. and over a series of four calls, the male voice mentioned there was a bomb and said “everyone’s lives were in the employees’ hands.”
In each case, the building was evacuated. According to search warrants filed at the Peoria County Circuit Clerk’s office, officers learned the calls were made with a service called TextNow, which allows people to make phone calls over the internet.
A call was made from an Internet address linked to Burks’ mother, according to court records.
He is eligible for day-for-day “good-time” credit meaning that if he behaves while in prison and with credit for about nine months already served, he could get out of prison in a bit more than a year.