Crime - Sacto 911

Reduced charge bid denied for woman involved in suspected bomb threat near Tower Bridge

Karen Jeffrey’s court-appointed attorney asked a Woodland judge to delay a scheduled Friday preliminary hearing in a suspected bomb threat that shut down the Tower Bridge last month and called for the felony count against the West Sacramento woman to be reduced to a less serious charge.

Jeffrey, 58, has been held in Yolo County custody in lieu of $500,000 bail on a single count of possession or placing of a facsimile bomb connected to the Jan. 31 incident. She pleaded not guilty to the charge Feb. 2 in Yolo Superior Court, where she returned Friday.

Jeffrey’s attorney, Yolo County deputy public defender Lisa Lance, called on visiting Yolo Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and free Jeffrey on her own recognizance. Mock denied both requests, deferring to Judge Janene Beronio’s Feb. 2 decision at Jeffrey’s arraignment.

Jeffrey will have another opportunity at a scheduled March 17 preliminary hearing and bail review. Lance is also seeking help from the Veterans’ Administration, including a social worker to meet with Jeffrey, she told Mock.

Following the hearing, Lance would not elaborate on the services she hoped the agency could provide her client or Jeffrey’s prior military background.

The bizarre afternoon standoff on the West Sacramento side of the span began when Jeffrey parked her car sideways across eastbound lanes of traffic on the Tower Bridge Gateway entering the bridge into Sacramento.

Police called to the scene found what they later described as “suspicious wiring” and shut down the bridge as law enforcement swarmed the river crossing. A witness described wires connecting to the car’s fuel tank

Jeffrey eventually climbed out of her maroon sedan and held aloft a sign asking for a federal public defender. She was quickly taken into custody. No one was hurt.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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