Trial set for Chicago man accused of SIU threats

A federal trial is scheduled for early next year for a Chicago man accused of mailing threats of beheadings, bombings and other violence to Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus.

A federal judge in Benton slated 21-year-old Derrick Dawon Burns’ trial to begin Feb. 2.

Burns remains jailed on felony charges related to threatening mailings he allegedly sent in 2012 and last year.

Investigators say most of the letters suggested SIU would be targeted with violence ranging from rapes to beheadings, use of pipe bombs, shooting rampages, the unleashing of “deadly chemical powder” and arson.

One of the mailings prompted the precautionary evacuation of the campus’ three dorms housing a combined 2,100 students.

Burns has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney has declined to speak publicly about his case.

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