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Man who left improvised bomb on train tracks gets probation

(The following story by Matt Thacker appeared on the News and Tribune website on September 22, 2010.)

SELLERSBURG, Ind. — A Sellersburg man who left an improvised explosive device with a half-pound of black powder on the Southern Indiana Railway tracks pleaded guilty Tuesday and will avoid jail time.

Louis Deinnocentes, 47, a pharmacist who recently moved from New York, pleaded guilty to class A misdemeanor criminal recklessness. As part of the plea agreement in Clark County Circuit Court, he was sentenced to one year of probation and to pay a $2,500 fine plus probation fees.

The homemade bomb was discovered June 18 by a man and his teenage daughter as they were walking the train tracks near Bean Road in Sellersburg, Clark County Sheriff’s Department Maj. Chuck Adams said. An Indiana State Police bomb squad was called out to detonate the device. The area was closed to vehicles, pedestrians and trains for about three hours.

Detectives said an explosion from that amount of black powder could have knocked a train off the tracks and could have been fatal if someone was nearby. Deinnocentes tried to ignite the bomb, but when it did not explode, he left it there thinking it was more dangerous after the failed ignition, police said.

His attorney, Larry Wilder, said Deinnocentes said he had been making fireworks with black powder that had been left by his father for a July 4 celebration. He said he grew up in Logansport and regularly worked with black powder that he used for muzzle loaders.

Inside Deinnocentes’ trailer home, police found more materials to manufacture pipe bombs. As part of his probation, he is not allowed to possess any bomb-making materials.

“Our investigation determined that we didn’t feel he had any intent to injure anybody or destroy property,” Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said. “It was more of a desire to blow up some powder in a desolate area. Therefore, with him having a career and being a working citizen, we felt that plea was appropriate.”

Deinnocentes received credit for almost three months served on home incarceration.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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