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By Ron Lee
July 7, 2004
3:05 AM Eastern

GRANTS PASS, OR - At approximately 1:08 p.m. the Josephine County Courthouse received a bomb threat which one officer stated as being a "generic threat" but one the agencies stationed there seemed to take seriously. At 1:10 p.m. (according to the courthouse clock) people were asked to leave the building by one officer shouting, "Everyone has to evacuate the building." This included those waiting for court appearances like Nicholas Gombos, the purported chicken thief who supposedly rustled "Speckles" from the Rays Food Mart in Murphy, as well as Adam Abbey, the alleged "Speckles" murderer, who killed the chicken out of a proclaimed need to euthanize the bird when he found it, "floppin' around ... feathers everywhere."

People from inside the building casually walked out into the courtyard, some even standing just outside of the main doors. After several minutes an officer came out and announced, "In case this is real it would be best if you all were farther away from the building." He went on to confirm that it was in fact a bomb threat situation and that they were going to be doing a search. He then re-entered the building and left no officer stationed in front of the building to keep newcomers to the area from approaching the courthouse. In fact on several occasions people walked into the unlocked, unprotected building only to be told by an officer inside that there was a possible bomb and that they had to leave the premises. Those appearing for court dates were asking out-loud if this would affect their cases but there were no officials in the area to respond.

According to Abbey this was no way to be spending his 19th birthday. His felony cruelty to animals charge had been reduced to a misdemeanor at an earlier court appearance and he was now waiting outside with the rest of the evacuees before he could request a trial for his current charge. Speaking on the celebrity that the "Speckles" case has brought, Abbey said, "I'm just a small time guy from Cave Junction (OR). Now I'm known all over for this." He said that perhaps it would have been better to have let the chicken die on its own but stands by his actions to put the animal out of its misery. Abbey, amazed that the case was even being pursued, asked, "Where are they getting all this money to prosecute this, when they are letting people out of the jail."

Nicholas Gombos approached Abbey and introduced himself. It was the first meeting between the two who are under prosecution over "Speckles". Talking for several minutes they shared stories and soon an officer appeared to announce that it was time to go back in. He stated that they had gone "room by room (looking) for an obvious threat." When asked of the departments involved he said that the City Police, a Fire Lieutenant, and members of the Josephine County Sheriff's Office had searched from the basement to the roof and found, "nothing obvious." And by 1:36 p.m. it was back to business as usual at the Courthouse. There was no further mention of the bomb issue and courtrooms started hearing their cases almost immediately.

As for Abbey, he was granted a trial, date to be determined at a future time. Mr. Gombos' attorney, Foster Glass of Bend OR., filled a demurer as well as several other motions that will be ruled on the 21st of July.

DA Clay Johnson (541) 474-5200

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In fact on several occasions people walked into the unlocked, unprotected building only to be told by an officer inside that there was a possible bomb and that they had to leave the premises.