OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 1:40 PM – Thursday, April 6, 2023
After 24 homemade pipe bombs and a murder list were found in a Florida home, Michelle Kolts pleaded guilty on Wednesday to avoid jail time and will continue seeking psychiatric treatment instead.
In 2019, Kolts’ parents discovered handmade pipe bombs in her bedroom in Wimauma, Florida, and promptly called the police, fearful of what she might have been capable of.
Records showed that Kolts, 27 at the time, was arrested at her job and then brought back to her home where she admitted to manufacturing the bombs. Later in the day, she was taken in to the police department for questioning, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Kolts was interviewed by FBI agent Christopher Franck, as her parents’ home was fully searched, and he reportedly asked her what she was planning to do with the items.
“Her intent was to harm other people… However, she did not state a specific target or plan of attack,” said Franck.
Originally, Kolts said that two other men had helped her manufacture the bombs, but investigators later determined this to be a lie.
According to the sheriff, a publisher notified police a year earlier and expressed worries about Kolts’ decision to order many terrorist and murderer’s manifests online.
The sheriff noted that she seemed to be “a little bit on the autism spectrum.”
Kolts’ most recent publicly viewable Facebook post asked for donations for Stop Soldier Suicide, a nonprofit organization created to address the rising number of military veterans who commit suicide. The day after Kolts’ arrest, Sheriff Chronister disclosed to the media that the suspect’s parents are both active-duty service members.
Authorities had also discovered supplies to manufacture new bombs, a plethora of knives, guns, nunchucks, nails, pellets, screws, books about terrorist-made explosions, and a hit list.
Kolts eventually pleaded guilty in a Tampa court to reduce her charges, where she was initially charged with 24 counts of manufacturing, possessing and discharging a destructive device.
She was infatuated with learning about the Columbine Shooting and the Oklahoma City Bombing tragedies. The Columbine Shooting took the lives of 12 students and one teacher at the Colorado high school in 1999. The Oklahoma City Bombing occurred in 1995, when anti-government militants detonated a truck full of explosives in front of a federal facility in Oklahoma City, committing a domestic act of terrorism that left 168 people dead and over 680 injured.
Kolts was detained on charges that could have resulted in a 100-year sentence for her. However, after years of assessments and therapy for her mental health, she was declared ineligible to stand trial and was ultimately diagnosed with schizophrenia.
She is now ordered to take a daily cocktail of medications and to continue her counseling sessions.
Prosecutor Lindsey Hodges said Kolts will be receiving “twenty-four months of community control, followed by 15 years of probation.”
Kolts’ conviction won’t appear on her criminal record because Judge Lyann Goudie postponed judgment in light of the defendant’s spotless record prior to the offense at hand.
Her attorney rejoiced in the news and says that it is a significant victory for his client.
“She’s not going to suffer the stigma of a conviction on any of those counts as long as she stays crime free and abides by the terms of her probation,” said Barry Taracks, Kolts’ attorney.
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