Bomb Threat at BYU Fireside (Howard W. Hunter presides)


Fireside disrupted with threat of bomb

Published in the Church News – February 13, 1993
By Sheridan R. Sheffield, Church News staff writer

A BYU 19-stake fireside address by President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve came to an abrupt halt for about 10 minutes Feb. 7 when a man walked up to the podium threatening to detonate a bomb.

President Hunter was just beginning his address on adversity to 17,000 people in the Marriott Center when the 27-year-old man came out of the audience and walked onto the stand, carrying a briefcase and a toy cellular phone wrapped in black tape. He approached President Hunter and told others sitting on the stand to clear the area, saying he had a bomb and detonator. Everyone moved off the stand, except for two Church security officers who refused to leave President Hunter’s side. President Hunter appeared calm and never responded to the man. When the incident was over, President Hunter continued his address without appearing shaken.

The man handed a letter to President Hunter to read, but he refused to read it, said Margaret Smoot, director of BYU Public Communications. She said the letter reportedly called for the release of the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve, and stated the man was to be the prophet of the Church.

About the same time, the congregation began to sing “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” which seemed to distract the man, BYU officials said.

In a quick turn of events, an older man from the audience tried to distract the assailant but was shoved down. A student from the front row then sprayed the intruder with mace.

The two security officers were able to apprehend the assailant and pull him off the stage. About 40 to 50 students then converged on the man. He was handcuffed by university police and arrested.

President Hunter was brought to the floor by security guards, but was not injured.

Police opened the briefcase only to find books and a radio. As a precaution, a police bomb squad blew up the briefcase.

Cody Judy of Bakersfield, Calif., appeared in 4th Circuit Court Feb. 9 on charges of kidnapping, a second degree felony; aggravated assault, a third degree felony; and assault, a Class B misdemeanor. Prosecutors also requested a 30-day psychiatric evaluation. Bail was set at $100,000.

Police said the man was the same person who a week earlier had left guns and ammunition inside Temple Square late at night as a “gift” to the prophet.

The fireside was being broadcast to college institutes throughout North America over the Church’s satellite network but was stopped during the incident.

Following the arrest, President Hunter continued his talk, telling the audience, “I want to tell you how good your voices sound.”

He was speaking on campus as part of the BYU Book of Mormon Symposium, which concluded Feb. 7 with his address.

Suspect in Fireside Bomb Threat Says He Was Fulfilling Prophecies

Published in the Deseret News – February 9, 1993
By Laura Andersen Callister and Jim Rayburn, Staff Writers

A man who was arrested in the bomb threat at Brigham Young University during an LDS fireside Sunday said he was only fulfilling prophecies he had received from visions and visitations.

“I meant no harm to anyone. I am just doing exactly what the Lord has commanded me,” Cody Robert Judy, 27, told the Deseret News in an interview from his jail cell Monday.Utah County prosecutors Tuesday charged Judy with kidnapping, a second-degree felony; aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; and assault, a class B misdemeanor.

Judy, with a large bruise below his right eye, made a first court appearance Tuesday morning before 4th Circuit Judge E. Patrick McGuire. More than 10 security guards were posted throughout the courtroom during the hearing, and everyone entering the courtroom was searched with a metal detector. McGuire read the charges against Judy and set his bail at $100,000 cash bond or property.

Deputy Utah County Attorney Mary Ann Baldwin informed McGuire that she filed a petition in 4th District Court for Judy to undergo a mental competency evaluation. Judge Guy R. Burningham signed the petition, and McGuire ordered that Judy be transferred from the Utah County Jail to the Utah State Hospital.

Judy will return to 4th District Court in about 45 days for a hearing to determine if he is competent to proceed with a trial. If he is found competent, a preliminary hearing will be held to determine if there is probable cause to bind the case over to 4th District Court. If he is found incompetent, he will remain at the Utah State Hospital until he becomes competent.

Judy, a resident of Bakersfield, Calif., told the Deseret News he came to Salt Lake City three weeks ago to take over the LDS Church and bring its members to repentance.

“The members of the LDS Church are under condemnation because they have the most truth and are not living it,” Judy said.

Judy said his motive Sunday night was to have Howard W. Hunter, president of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, read a three-page letter that released the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of the church and confirmed Judy as president of the church.

“I have seen the resurrected Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ and ancient apostles. They have told me this is what I have to do,” Judy said.

Judy was apprehended Sunday after he held what he said was a bomb detonator next to President Hunter’s head and threatened to blow up an audience of 17,000 at BYU’s Marriott Center.

“I had no ill intent. The only dynamite I had was the scriptures. The so-called detonator was only a toy. I had my arm around President Hunter telling him everything would be OK,” Judy said.

Police found books in the briefcase Judy said was dynamite.

Judy said his “visions and visitations” began after his wife left him two years ago. He said he hasn’t seen his three children in almost two years.

Judy said the frightened audience at BYU should not have been afraid.

“If they would have faith they would not have feared, it was a warning to the saints for their own good,” Judy said.

But Ron Rodda, President Hunter’s niece’s husband, who was on the stand with the general authority and who grabbed the letter and put it in his pocket, said it instructed President Hunter in effect to “not goof this up or there will be a lot of people killed.” He did not quote directly from the note because, he said, it contained many profanities.

When the audience started singing the LDS hymn, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Judy thought they were singing to him.