Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa man accused of making explosives to be held until trial

TAMPA — A man arrested last week for making explosives in his parents' home will remain in jail until his trial, a Hillsborough County judge ordered Wednesday.

"It's pretty obvious to me that you are a danger to this community," said Judge Walter Heinrich.

James Lee Minyard, 41, was hospitalized May 7 after an explosive he was carrying detonated and blew off part of two fingers on his left hand. Investigators soon discovered Minyard was making the devices at his home at 1212 E Crawford St., where he lives with his parents.

Minyard was arrested the next day and charged with six counts of making a destructive device.

In a courtroom Wednesday afternoon, Minyard appeared with his left hand layered in bandages.

Tampa police Homicide Detective Steve Prebich testified that he interviewed Minyard after he was released from the hospital. Minyard told him the explosive had gone off as he rode a bicycle on the sidewalk in the 900 block of Sligh Avenue on his way to a friend's house. Minyard lit the explosive, described as a pipe bomb, with a cigarette and intended to throw it into an empty lot, Prebich testified. Instead, it exploded in Minyard's hand.

When Prebich arrived at the scene, he noticed blood splatter on the sidewalk and a second device that Minyard admitted he dropped during the explosion.

The explosives, Minyard told Prebich, were for "recreational purposes."

While searching Minyard's house, investigators recovered four other devices, handwritten notebooks with diagrams and instruction books. Computers seized from Minyard were sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for analysis, Prebich testified.

Sgt. J.B. Seal of Tampa police's bomb team testified that the explosives were made of a compound that is "very sensitive to heat, shock and friction."

Minyard's father, James Minyard, also testified, telling the court that his son never intended to harm anyone. A few years ago, his son had taken to making small firecrackers.

But his hobby, Heinrich pointed out, had escalated.

"Even if your intention was not to go and blow up some other person or building, your sheer disregard to the safety of the community . . . the sheer volume of items you had in your house, concerns the court," Heinrich said.

Minyard's case remains under investigation, Tampa police said, declining to provide further details.

After the judge's decision Wednesday, he stared at the floor as he was escorted from the courtroom.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at lmorel@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386.

Tampa man accused of making explosives to be held until trial 05/15/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  2. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  3. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  4. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."

  5. All-eyes photo gallery: Florida State Seminoles loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack

    News

    View a gallery of images from the Florida State Seminoles 27-21 loss to the N.C. State Wolfpack Saturday in Tallahassee. The Seminoles will face Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

    Florida State Seminoles fans sing the fight song during the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.