BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — East Baton Rouge prosecutors dropped felony charges against a former University of Alabama student who allegedly called in a bomb threat to Tiger stadium during the 2019 LSU-Florida football game after his lawyer says he finished a pretrial intervention program.
Prosecutors appeared before a state district judge to dismiss a felony count of communicating false information of a planned bombing on school property against Connor Croll. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The charge was dropped after Croll, 21, successfully completed the terms of a pretrial intervention program, according to The Advocate.
He wrote that his actions were “unbelievably stupid’ in a letter addressed to the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish and anyone else who was affected by the bomb threat.
“Looking back, it is unbelievable that I made such a big mistake and I am thankful that no one was hurt because of my actions,” he said.
As a part of the intervention program, Croll performed more than 250 hours of community service, including 116 hours with Habitat for Humanity, his lawyer, James Rothkamm, said Monday.
In his apology letter, Croll said he was in the last week of pledging a fraternity.
“At the time, I thought I had no choice, I was so caught up in finishing being a pledge that I let that cloud my judgement,” he wrote. “I was with a bunch of the actives in my fraternity and I should have walked away. I obviously feel like a fool now.”
Croll had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges. According to Rothkamm, Croll paid $2,040 in restitution to the LSU Police Department.
Croll ended his letter by saying he also understands “how lucky I am that no one was hurt.”
The Virginia native is now enrolled at a community college and doing well academically, Rothkamm told The Advocate.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Croll had cooperated fully with authorities. He called Croll's actions “totally unacceptable” but said LSU police acted quickly and recognized “that this was a stupid, misguided hoax.”
Police traced the call warning of a bomb threat during the high-profile 2019 LSU-Florida game back to Croll's phone. He was a freshman at Alabama at the time.
According to The Advocate, police say he confessed to making the threat in an effort to halt the game because “his friend was on the verge of losing a large bet."
There were more than 100,000 people at the stadium during the game.
ESPN, which televised the game, said it was the network’s most-watched college football game in nearly two years and ranked in the top five of ESPN’s most-watched October games of the last quarter-century.