A Delaware man accused of detonating a homemade explosive under a police car in July 2015 was arraigned in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Monday morning and will stand trial in August.
Robert Vincent Jones II, 22, of 2224 Bruce Road, Apt. 79, Delaware, entered a not-guilty plea in response to two felony counts of unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance/illegally manufacturing or processing explosives (one is a second-degree felony and the other is a fifth-degree felony); and one charge of vandalism, also a fifth-degree felony.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley accepted his plea and scheduled a trial for Aug. 2, as well as a pretrial hearing on July 18 at 1:45 p.m. Prosecutors estimate the trial will take between two and a half to three days.
Gormley said Jones could face up to eight years in prison for the second-degree felony charge and up to one year for each of the fifth-degree felony charges.
Assistant county prosecutor Brian Walter told Gormley that on July 1, 2015, a Delaware police officer noticed that an explosive had been set off underneath a police car while it was parked at police headquarters on North Union Street.
Walter said the bomb is what police call a “MacGyver bomb,” meaning that it was made up of household chemicals mixed together. Walter said the police car was not damaged and no one was injured. Police began an investigation and, after speaking to several witnesses, Jones was identified as the prime suspect.
Jones was indicted on May 13 and turned himself in a short time later.
Defense attorney Christopher Burchinal told Gormley that Jones has lived in Delaware his entire life and has strong ties to the community. Burchinal said these connections don’t make him a flight risk.
Gormley released Jones on a recognizance bond and did not require him to put up any money for bail.
Delaware police reported the car had to be taken out of service for a few days so it could be inspected at the city garage.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.