Sunday, May 12, 2013

 

Roanoke Army Veteran Pleads Guilty to Setting Off Pipe Bomb


Blacksburg, Va. - A Roanoke Army veteran has pleaded guilty to blowing up a sport utility vehicle with a pipe bomb in August.


Derick Gregory Wilson, 24, entered his plea in federal court on Friday, admitting he built the explosive device, placed it on the left front tire, lit the fuse and fled.

Wilson said he was angry that the ex-boyfriend was staying with Wilson's girlfriend until he could move into a new apartment.

No one was injured in the Aug. 1 blast.

After the blast, police found Wilson at his home with another pipe bomb. Wilson says he had been drinking heavily that night.

Wilson faces up to three years and three months in prison when he's sentenced. His hearing has not been scheduled.

Va. man admits to using pipe bomb to blow up SUV

Angry at his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, Derick Gregory Wilson used a pipe bomb to blow up the man’s sport utility vehicle as it sat parked on a Blacksburg street, he admitted Friday.

Wilson, 24, of Roanoke pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of an unregistered destructive device.

No one was injured in the explosion, which heavily damaged a Chevrolet Blazer early on the morning of Aug. 1, 2012.

As part of a plea agreement reached in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Wilson likely will be sentenced to 40 months in prison. Judge Michael Urbanski delayed a ruling on the agreement until a sentencing hearing scheduled for Aug. 29.

Authorities have said that Wilson was angry at the owner of the Blazer, Chad Tangchittsumran , who had previously dated Wilson’s girlfriend.

On the night of the explosion, Tangchittsumran parked his Blazer on Harrell Street outside the home of the woman, who had agreed to let him stay with her until he could move into a new apartment, according to court documents.

“There were jealous feelings” between the two men over that arrangement, a complaint filed in federal court stated.

After the 3 a.m. blast, police found Wilson — and a second, partially constructed pipe bomb — at his Roanoke home.

Wilson admitted that he built an explosive device from a piece of galvanized pipe and black powder, placed it on the left front tire of the Blazer, lit the fuse and fled, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen said in summarizing the evidence.

In court Friday, Wilson said he had been drinking heavily that night.

“I really do not recall too much of what I did,” he told Urbanski. “But the bits and pieces are there.”

Wilson, an Army veteran who fought in Iraq and later expressed an avid interest in explosives through social media, said he did not intend to hurt anyone.

As police tried to learn more about Wilson in the hours following the bombing, they discovered through his MySpace account that he was interested in guns and bombs. One photo on the social media site showed a tree being destroyed by a bomb.

A Facebook page in the name of Derick Wilson showed him wearing military combat gear and carrying a rifle.

“I love destroying s---,” a statement on the page read.

“Night time shooting. Fires. Burning stuff. Explosions, I feel naked when I don’t carry a knife or have my piece with me.”


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