Lions Fan Pleads Guilty To Phoning In La. Threat
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to phoning in a bomb threat to the Louisiana Superdome during the New Orleans Saints' playoff win over the Detroit Lions in January.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/JIEkm4 ) that Shawn Payton, of Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Detroit.
The newspaper reports he pleaded guilty to a felony count of transmitting threats to injure in interstate communications. Payton faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI arrested Payton in Detroit on Jan. 30. Prosecutors say he called the Superdome reception desk during the Jan. 7 NFL playoff game and claimed there was a bomb in the building. There were more than 70,000 people inside the stadium at the time.
The U.S. Attorney's office says he made a second call 45 minutes later, saying there would be "severe consequences" if the "stupid southern team keeps winning." The Saints beat the Lions 45-28.
Payton later told The Detroit News that he felt "bad for making some stupid phone calls."
The Times-Picayune reports that the 34-year-old Payton apologized to Saints fans.
"I'm not a bad person," he said in an interview. I was just so proud of the Lions family making the playoffs for the first time in God knows how long. I got caught up in the heat of the moment, and I seriously, highly regret making those calls."
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com