A man who is being held at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center for threatening to blow up the Waterford 3 nuclear plant is awaiting a sanity evaluation.
St. Tammany Parish resident William Dugas is being held for a felony charge of “threatening communications” after F.B.I. investigators claim that he made threats to blow up the nuclear facility in Taft and murder Entergy employees.
Dugas, 51, has been incarcerated at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center since late October for the incident.
Criminal charges filed with the U.S. States Eastern District Federal Court reveal that Dugas made the threats concerning the St. Charles Parish nuclear facility during a dispute over his electric bill.
According to F.B.I. investigators, Dugas’ complaints were related to hurricane surcharges for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Gustav in 2008 that he felt he should not have to pay since he only recently opened an account with the company.
“I will go and blow up that nuclear plant and I know you really don’t want me to do that because it will blow up this whole United States and I don’t care. I’ve already died twice and it doesn’t mean anything to me,” read an F.B.I. transcript of Dugas’ phone call dated Oct. 10.
In a message left the next day, Dugas said, “I’m telling you, I will start killing these people and walk away scot free. You better get in touch with me.”
According to the charges, Dugas also threatened to “smash the CEO of Entergy’s head off his desk until he was dead.”
After being taken into custody on Oct. 12, F.B.I. investigators said Dugas admitted to making the statements, but said he was only trying to get someone’s attention. Although he said he did not have any intention of blowing up the plant, he claimed he knew how to do so. However, when pressed by F.B.I. agents he would not reveal how the plant could be blown up.
No explosives or weapons were found in a search of Dugas’ home.
In statements made to investigators, Dugas’ brother said his sibling received a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident that occurred when he was 18 years old. Since the accident, Dugas has been on numerous medications meant to control his mental state. His brother told officials that one of those medications was changed around the time he made the threats. In addition, he said his brother has a tendency to self-medicate with alcohol.
On Oct. 30, the court ordered a sanity evaluation of Dugas by a Tulane University psychiatrist, however, in a Nov. 28 hearing Dugas’ attorney Roma Kent said the psychiatrist was unable to conduct the evaluation in a timely manner.
At the Nov. 28 hearing, Dugas repeatedly interrupted Judge Ivan Lemelle. After whispering into Dugas’ ear and gently patting his back, Kent was able to calm her client.
Kent explained that despite the court order, a sanity evaluation had not taken place over the previous month. In addition, she claimed employees of the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center were giving Dugas his anti-seizure medication irregularly and not consistent with doctor’s orders. Kent subsequently revealed Dugas had recently suffered a grand mal seizure and was allegedly injured by Sheriff’s deputies who restrained him during the incident.
“He is receiving the meds as prescribed, but he is not receiving them at correct intervals,” Kent said. “The deputies tried to control him and the deputies felt like they were doing what they do best and they injured him while restraining him.”
Jenny May, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Louisiana, said her office places over 100 inmates, including Dugas, with the Nelson Coleman Correctional Facility each year and they have not had a problem with inmate treatment.
“We have not had any problems with St. Charles at all,” May said. “When we have inmates who have complaints at other jails we will move them to St.
Charles because we haven’t had any issues.”