WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Local, state and federal law enforcers are investigating a serious crime against a Hancock County Youth Court Judge. Authorities said someone threw a Molotov cocktail into Judge Elise Deano's law office in Waveland. Deano is also a practicing attorney.
Police say sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning, someone attempted to burn down the law office on Highway 603.
"Luckily, it did not go off as they thought it would," said Waveland Police Chief David Allen.
Police said the culprit used a large rock to shatter the front door glass, then tossed in a homemade explosive created from a plastic soda bottle. Police believe the bomber had a vendetta.
"Based on the circumstances, I don't think anyone would believe it's a random circumstance. The fact that she's a private attorney, she potentially has enemies in the realm. The fact that she's a youth court judge means she probably has a lot of people who dislike her in that realm. So it's going to be a rather wide list," said Chief Allen.
Elise Deano has been a youth court judge for two years and a practicing attorney in Hancock County for 20 years, handling divorce and child custody cases.
"It's very scary that someone had that much rage in them that they would attempt to do something like that," Judge Deano said. "I'm always concerned because sometimes I don't make people very happy. But this is the first time there has been any outward manifestation."
The ATF has taken the lead in the investigation.
"I think it's very vital to reassure everybody that if you're going to go after a public official, everything is going to be brought to bear. And ATF certainly has the reach and resources to bring out as big of an investigation they need to have," said Chief Allen.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the ATF or the Waveland Police Department at (228) 467-3669. You can also give an anonymous tip to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers by calling 1-877-787-5898.
This type of crime against a judge carries up to a 30 year prison sentence, if convicted.