BOISE -- A man who vandalized and set fire to buildings could get life in prison because of his past history of sending anthrax threats to businesses and government buildings.
A jury found 48-year-old Sandy K. Nanney guilty of arson and malicious injury to property on Thursday, and he will be sentenced in September.
On June 30, 2003, Nanney was responsible for an anthrax threat at St. Luke's in Downtown Boise. Over the following weeks, 35 threat letters were sent to other places including hospitals, the mall, a daycare, the courthouse and KTVB.
Nanney ultimately handed an Ada County marshal a copy of one of his letters and confessed to sending the threats and white powder.
A judge sentenced Nanney to 10 years in prison for threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, but he was granted parole in June 2013.
Just five months out of prison, prosecutors say, Nanney went on a vandalism spree near his home in the area of Fairview and Cole.
He threw rocks through windows and doors at Albertsons and a Vietnamese Lutheran church. Two days later, he set a fire in the Burlington Coat Factory. Prosecutors say a key witness helped identify Nanney as the suspect.
The way that this case was solved, essentially, was the person in the Burlington Coat Factory who was shopping and happened to be aware of his surroundings, turned around, saw Mr. Nanney, turned back around, heard something and turned around and saw flames, Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Shelley Akamatsu said.
Some of the victims, especially at the church, were on edge after the vandalism.
Pastor Kramer shared with me that members of the congregation initially when they showed up for services and found out what happened at their place of worship were really concerned they had been targeted because they are a Vietnamese congregation, Akamatsu said. That was their initial reaction. But we don't have any information to suggest that this was motivated by hate but rather a person that's out on a rampage to destroy a lot of property.
The jury found Nanney not guilty of one arson charge, for another fire at the Burlington Coat Factory. Prosecutors say that fire wasn't reported to police.
Nanney is set for sentencing September 9. He could get up to life in prison because he is a repeat offender and is eligible for enhanced penalties.