Utah Man Pleads Guilty To 2 Charges, Faces Up To 5 Years On Each

On March 28, a Utah State Prison inmate who was on a work detail at the Wasatch High School walked off the work site. After doing that, the man made what appeared to be a pipe bomb. The device had pipes coming out of both ends of two, 12-inch pipe pieces that were fastened together and capped on the ends. The man and his device, which was considered a credible threat, forced the evacuation of a Wal-Mart store.

When officers found the man with his device, he was in the bathroom stall at the store. The bomb squad was sent to the scene, but the x-ray of the device was inconclusive. It was taken to a location away from the store and destroyed. No explosive material was found in the device.

The man recently pleaded guilty to two third-degree felony charges in connection with the incident. He faces up to five years in prison on an escape from official custody charge and up to five years in prison on an attempted possession of a hoax weapon of mass destruction. He is set to be sentenced on July 23 for these charges.

The man was already serving time in prison for other charges, according to Utah state court records. He was serving up to five years in prison for attempted burglary stemming from a guilty plea in March 2013.

This man opted to own up to his actions, which was one of his options. He had the right to offer a criminal defense to fight the charges if he chose to do so. Since he pleaded guilty, he only has to wait for the court to let him know the consequence it will impose on him for those crimes.

Source: Deseret News, “Utah prison inmate enters guilty pleas in Wal-Mart bomb scare” Geoff Liesik, Jun. 04, 2014