Man Says Beaver Dam, Not Estranged Girlfriend, Target Of Bomb
POSTED: 12:22 pm EDT May 11, 2006
UPDATED: 12:22 pm EDT May 11, 2006
DURHAM, N.C. -- Otis Cecil Wilkins says it was a beaver dam, not an estranged girlfriend, he intended to blow up.
But an ash from his cigarette fell onto the homemade bomb's fuse and ignited it, setting his shorts on fire and sending the 45-year-old to the hospital last year, according to Wilkins' attorney.
He pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon _ one count for his ex-girlfriend and two counts for other people who were near the explosion, including the woman's 3-year-old granddaughter. He had been charged with attempted first-degree murder.
Wilkins was sentenced to 300 days in jail.
Prosecutor Mitchell Garrell said he pursued a plea-bargain because the intended victim was uncooperative with him.
Sheriff's deputies said Wilkins threatened the woman. Then, according to the accusations, he lobbed the bomb at his girlfriend's Oldsmobile in Rougemont as she drove into her yard. Garrell described the bomb as a black bottle containing black gunpowder with wires protruding from it.
Witnesses said it exploded in "a large fireball" when Wilkins threw it. The bottle then rolled back toward him, igniting his shorts.
Wilkins, who was the only person injured in the blast, was treated for more than a week at a hospital burn center.
Public Defender Lawrence Campbell said Wilkins' target was a nearby beaver dam that blocked a waterway.
In a report on the incident, Wilkins played down the attack.
"I ain't no terrorist," he's quoted as saying. "It was just a little bit of black powder. It was just a little boom thing."
Only in Durham, NC