Sentencing for former hippie in case of homemade bomb left in Nederland delayed

Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 19:42:24-04

DENVER (AP) — The sentencing of a former hippie who left a homemade bomb outside the police department in a Colorado mountain town was delayed Thursday so the judge can consider if he should be treated as a terrorist.

David Ansberry was set to learn his punishment after two days of testimony from bomb experts and residents of Nederland. But U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello said she wanted to wait until lawyers submitted written arguments on whether a terrorism enhancement, which would greatly lengthen the sentence, should apply.

The sentencing was postponed until Jan. 25.

The bomb was discovered in 2016 in a backpack just outside the front door to the station in a strip mall that also houses a school, a diner and other businesses. It never detonated on its own even though investigators say Ansberry tried to trigger it by calling a cellphone attached to the device.

The bomb contained a peroxide-based compound, HMDT, that is prone to explode if exposed to heat or friction.

HMDT can be made with household chemicals and is similar to TATP, another peroxide-based compound that has been linked to terrorist attacks such as the 2005 London bombings. First used by al Qaida terrorists, HMDT is considered an emerging threat in the United States, FBI chemist and forensic examiner Raleigh Parrott testified during Ansberry's two-day sentencing hearing.

Parrott also said the device could have been lethal had it been successful.

Ansberry's lawyers stressed that it was not known how much HMDT was present and how many other substances may have been mixed in. They pointed out how it never exploded even though it was handled by authorities and a bomb squad robot.