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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:26 a.m., Thursday, May 1, 2003

Woman held without bail in threats to cruise ships

Advertiser Staff

The 20-year-old California woman accused of leaving threatening notes in an apparent attempt to force a cruise ship back to port was ordered held without bail today. Her parents, who are back in California, did not offer to put up a property bond.

Kelley Marie Ferguson of Laguna Hills, Calif., is charged with two felony counts of threatening acts of terrorism. The notes were left aboard the cruise ship Legend of the Seas, which was on a cruise from Ensenada, Mexico, to Hawai'i. After the notes were found the ship was diverted from its scheduled port of call on the Big Island to an anchorage off Honolulu.

Ferguson reportedly wanted the ship to return to Ensenada so she could be with her boyfriend.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson today told Magistrate Kevin S.C. Chang that Ferguson should be detained because of her level of "immaturity, insecurity and instability."

Further, Sorenson noted that Ferguson's parents did not offer to put up a property bond and that her boyfriend has an extensive criminal background, including convictions for hit-and-run and drug possession.

A trial date has not yet been set. If convicted, Ferguson faces up to a minimum of 10 years in prison.