A federal magistrate on Wednesday denied bond to a man accused of bombing a building that houses the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP, although he has not been charged with targeting the civil rights group, prosecutors said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Watanabe ruled that Thaddeus Murphy is a danger to the community, poses a flight risk, and ordered him held without bail until the case is resolved, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Murphy, 44, was arrested last week and confessed to federal agents that he assembled and planted the homemade device out of “rage” toward his former accountant who once had an office in the building, court documents showed.
Murphy denied targeting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but federal authorities said they are still investigating whether the bombing was a racially motivated crime.
No one was injured in the Jan. 6 explosion, which caused minor charring to the building’s exterior wall, authorities said.
A federal grand jury indicted Murphy on one count of “maliciously” setting off an explosive at a public building, and one count of being a felon in possession of firearms, unrelated to the bombing.
Murphy was previously sentenced to five years in state prison for a 2009 theft conviction, which led to the weapons charge, authorities said.
Murphy told investigators he was frustrated in trying to get information from his former tax preparer which he needed to file for bankruptcy, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Law enforcement was led to Murphy through eyewitness accounts, surveillance videos from nearby businesses, and cell phone records, the affidavit said.
After searching Murphy’s home and a storage locker he rented, police found items linking him to the bombing, and a cache of firearms, court papers showed.
If convicted, Murphy faces a maximum 20 years in prison on the bombing charge, a maximum of 10 years in prison on the weapons charge, and up to $500,000 in fines for both counts.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)