EDWARDSVILLE — The former student accused of attempting to make a terroristic threat at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has been released after successfully getting his conviction overturned.
The Illinois Department of Corrections released Olutosin Oduwole Monday, shortly after his felony conviction was thrown out by an Illinois appeals court. Neither Oduwole nor his attorneys could be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Oduwole, 27, was convicted in 2011 of attempting to make a terrorist threat. Prosecutors had argued that a piece of paper found in his car in 2007 stated that a murderous rampage would occur if he wasn't paid $50,000. He was awaiting delivery of four legally purchased handguns at the time, but the piece of paper included several lines about a girl as well as the demand for money.
Oduwole argued that the note was only rap lyrics. The paper was found jammed under the center console of his abandoned car and could not have been seen from outside the car, according to the testimony of the police officer who found it after the car was towed.
The 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon ruled March 6 that the evidence did not show Oduwole actively tried to convey any threat.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons has not announced whether his office would ask the Illinois Supreme Court to review the case. Spokeswoman Stephanee Smith said the case was still under review.
At the time, Oduwole was a student at SIUE and lived in an on-campus apartment. A handgun he had purchased legally was found in his apartment, but he had not requested permission from SIUE police to bring a handgun on campus.
Oduwole did not appeal his conviction on the lesser misdemeanor charge of possession of a weapon in a public building, only the felony charge of attempting to make a terrorist threat. He was sentenced in December 2011 and began his sentence on Jan. 4, 2012, at Pittsfield Work Camp. Without the appeal, his first projected date of parole was to be February 2014.
Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2501.