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NIH employee to appear in court today


An employee at the National Institutes of Health charged with making an anthrax threat against an assessor's office in Florida will return to a Maryland courtroom today to find out whether a judge will release her until her trial.

Michelle Ledgister, 43, of Bethesda has been held in federal custody since Monday, when she surrendered to authorities near the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases where she works.

After losing a claim for property tax relief on a home she owns in Parkland, Fla., Ledgister left a voice mail message late last month at the Broward County Property Appraiser's Office in Fort Lauderdale, according to her arrest warrant. In the message, Ledgister identified herself, mentioned she worked for NIH and said, "You guys now have anthrax spores once again, so do be careful," her arrest warrant said.

In U.S. District Court in Greenbelt yesterday, her attorney asked for a delay until today so that Ledgister could use her Florida property to post the $10,000 bond previously set for her release.

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