Family of Bomb Threat Suspect Speaks Out

News

The man accused of making false bomb threats at two Upstate hospital facilities will not be released from jail.

Eric Rico Hill of Clinton had his bond denied by a Laurens County judge Friday.

Hill is charged with two counts of making a bomb threat. 

Laurens County deputies say one was at the Laurens County Memorial Hospital, part of the Greenville Hospital System, and the other was at a bone and joint clinic in Clinton.     

Hill’s family says he has told them he didn’t make the threats and his grandmother, Mildred Sanders, tells 7 News that she believes him.    

An advocate speaking on behalf of the hospital told the court Hill should not be granted bond because she considered him a threat to public safety and stated he had a pending bomb threat charge from several years ago and a past conviction for unlawful use of a phone.

Tracy Richards explained the impact the threat had, especially on Laurens Memorial, where staff had to evacuate more than 40 patients, some who were scheduled for surgeries and one mother who was in labor, when the hospital received a phone call Thursday around 9 a.m. stating there was a bomb in the hospital.

A 3-hour investigation led by SLED K-9s found nothing suspicious or dangerous.

Hill’s family was in court Friday. His grandmother says her grandson has mental issues but says he isn’t capable of the trouble that landed him in jail. 

Hill’s grandmother says he was in bed recovering from a seizure at the time police say the threats were called in. 

Sanders says the family will stand by Hill and will next “get him a lawyer and see what we can do about it.”

Hill’s next court appearance is set for May 18.

Also on Thursday, bomb threats were called into the Laurens County Courthouse and a medical clinic in Newberry. Both buildings were evacuated. The buildings were swept and nothing was found.

Newberry Police investigators say they’re working with Laurens County and still determining who is behind the threat in their town.

Laurens County investigators tell 7 News they are still looking into who called in the threat to the court house.  

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