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Press Release

Woman Charged with Threatening to Bomb Democratic Campaign Office Detained During Initial Appearance

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

MACON, Ga. – A northeast Georgia resident charged with threatening to bomb the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee Campaign headquarters in Athens, Georgia, last month and lying to federal investigators was remanded from state to federal custody at her initial appearance today.

Jessica Diane Higginbotham aka Jessica Harriod, 35, of Elberton, had her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Charles Weigle at the U.S. Courthouse in Macon this afternoon; the government’s motion to detain Higginbotham was granted by the Court. Higginbotham is charged with one count of communicating a bomb threat and one count of making false statements. If convicted of communicating a bomb threat, Higginbotham faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of making false statements, she faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that Higginbotham made a threat to bomb the Athens-Clarke County Democratic Committee Campaign building in Athens, Georgia, on Dec. 3, 2022, and lied to federal agents on Dec. 4, 2022, about her knowledge of a specific email address and the use of the TextNow communication application on her Samsung cellphone, both of which belong to her.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Capitol Police, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department and the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Will R. Keyes is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 6, 2023