Man Charged with Making Bomb and Threatening to Detonate at School

By: Anna Baxter, Shannon Houser Email
By: Anna Baxter, Shannon Houser Email

JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man is accused of making an explosive device and threatening to detonate it on his families' homes or at a playground of an elementary school in Jackson County.

Blake Ryan Garnes, 20, of Evans, is charged with terroristic threats and possession of an incendiary device.

Neighbors say they're not surprised Garnes would do something like this, but are scared it was so close to home. Summer Carte says, "I was at the playground with my son and he was sitting at the picnic shelter there at the school and he was just sitting there at the benches."

Investigators say they received a tip from a former confidential informant or CI about the bomb and Garnes' intentions.

According to the criminal complaint, the CI told detectives that three weeks ago at a home in Evans, Garnes and two others were smoking marijuana when Garnes walked to a shed and pulled out a green plastic object, filled with another darker sleeve type object. Jackson County, W.Va. Sheriff, Tony Boggs, says, "it was a crude, what I would consider to be a homemade explosive device. It appeared to contain some black power and some lead and some various items that would be intended to hurt."

Garnes described in detail that the object was a "bomb" that he had built from scratch and it involved a variety of projectiles suited for physical destruction, mayhem and death to others, according to the complaint. Sheriff Boggs says, "it appears this individual was looking to do someone harm if not more than one person at a time."

Garnes also told the CI he used gun powder, nails, BB's, ball bearings and bolts to make the bomb and he planned to make others.

After detectives interviewed the informant, investigators went to execute a search warrant about 10:25 p.m. Wednesday when they found Garnes sitting in the yard of a nearby home.

Detectives took Garnes into custody and explained why they were there. According to the criminal complaint, that's when Garnes told deputies he made an explosive device and where they could find it. Garnes sent them to the exact place where the CI told them it was being stored.

Investigators say when they searched the home, they found the explosive device along with numerous handwritten notes detailing his fascination with death, misery and killing people and children. Garnes later told deputies he wrote the notes.

According to the criminal complaint, Garnes told the informant a few weeks ago that "his intentions were to build other explosive devices like the one that evening and to detonate them on his own family's homes or at the playground of Evans Elementary - specifically when there were children present on the playground."

The CI described Garnes' behavior and mental/psychological stature as "being very emotionally disturbed and has been hospitalized as such in the past for unknown mental and psychological issues," according to the complaint.

The CI also described Garnes as having "manic episodes" and a genuine hatred towards law enforcement and his own family. According to the criminal complaint, the CI told detectives Garnes has talked continuously about "killing things" and killing people". He also told detectives that Garnes has an extensive alcohol and marijuana problem and self-medicates his emotional issues on a daily basis, according to the complaint.

When Garnes was questioned by investigators, Garnes admitted to them that he had "handcrafted" the device and that he "enjoyed pain," according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Garnes told investigators "he was fascinated by explosives since an early age, and that he had dreams/nightmares on a daily basis about killing people and death in general."

Garnes also told deputies that the device was only missing the fuse or detonation device, according to the complaint. Deputies say Garnes also said he had recently given extensive thought into specifically which manner in which he was going to detonate the device.

Garnes bond was set at $500,000.

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