Bay City substitute teacher sentenced to prison for threats

By adriana_acosta

May 4, 2012 at 12:04 a.m.
Updated May 5, 2012 at 12:05 a.m.

BAY CITY - A substitute teacher charged with making terroristic threats against Bay City school children in December 2010 will begin serving a seven-year prison sentence.

Paul Nolen May, 43, of Bay City pleaded guilty to all 12 counts and was sentenced Wednesday.

May, a substitute teacher working at Bay City High School and Bay City Junior High School, made threats stating that if his demands were not met, children would die.

"May's arrest was part of a larger investigation which began with an anonymous letter threatening Bay City High School students," said Steven Reis, Matagorda County district attorney.

In addition to the 12 counts of making terrorist threats to the public, May also was indicted on two counts of indecency with a child by contact and two counts of improper relationship between educator and student.

He was arrested and charged on Jan. 27, 2011.

"With this news we now have closure of this unfortunate event for our entire community and justice has been served," said Keith Brown, Bay City school district superintendent.

In December 2010, Brown received an anonymous letter where the author threatened to hurt children in the school district if his demands were not met.

A second letter was discovered in a rural mailbox on Jan. 11, 2011. It threatened children in the school district and mentioned the name of Brown's daughter, who is a high school student.

A few weeks later, various businesses and residents in Bay City received anonymous threatening phone calls stating if his demands were not met, children at the school district would die, Reis said.

Bay City police officers were able to locate the serial number of the phone that made the calls and traced it back to a phone sold at Walmart.

"School district administrators were called in to identify the person. Without hesitation, they recognized Paul May," Reis said.

Matagorda County Judge Craig Estlinbaum issued arrest warrants that were executed just before midnight on Jan. 26, according to court documents.

May fought to have his bail reduced. A hearing occurred in March 2011, Reis said.

Estlinbaum denied the bond reduction, which lead to May's attorney Neal Davis III, of Houston, appealing the case to the 13th Court of Appeals in Corpus Christi.

In August, a three-judge panel determined the bail amount was not oppressive and that Estlinbaum did not act inappropriately in setting the amount, Reis said.

After a year of litigation, a continuing investigation and negotiation, both sides agreed the case could be resolved with a guilty plea.



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