D.A.'s office bombing suspect says he was trying to delay his sentencing

The man suspected of setting off a bomb outside the Jackson County District Attorney's Office Nov. 13 told police he attempted to destroy the building in order to delay a scheduled sentencing he faced for burglarizing a Medford home in 2011, federal court documents show.

A federal case filed Monday charges Alan Leroy McVay, 46, with malicious destruction of property by explosion. FBI agent David A. Carroll set out the evidence obtained from phone records and McVay's statements to investigators in an 11-page affidavit.

McVay was arrested Nov. 20 and charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with arson, burglary, manufacture and possession of a destructive device and criminal mischief. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail, with his bail set at $5 million. Court records show the state case is still pending.

Carroll's affidavit states that police got a tip on Nov. 15 linking McVay to the bombing. They determined that he was set to appear on Nov. 14 to plead guilty and be sentenced in the 2011 burglary case, in which a co-defendant already had been sent to prison.

The FBI obtained recordings of calls between McVay and his imprisoned conspirator in the burglary.

On Nov. 9, in a recorded telephone conversation between McVay and his co-defendant in the 2011 burglary case, McVay said, "I want to go off on some s—t, I tell you what, I got some things to do it with," the affidavit states.

The next day McVay said that he was going to handle it, adding, "Anyway, it could probably get rid of all kinds of paper, from the ground up," the affidavit continues.

According to the affidavit, two days prior to the bombing, McVay said, "Maybe a miracle will happen and we'll have some crazy earthquake s—t," adding "there's something I can do. They just p——d me off to the point. You know what the point is. When you reach the point."

During that conversation, McVay also said, "It'll be fun, it'll be fun," and "you'll hear about it someday," the affidavit states.

In a detailed recount of the circumstances surrounding the bombing, McVay told investigators that he made an improvised pipe bomb by filling a carbon dioxide cylinder with gun powder, taped it to the side of a 7-gallon propane tank, and lit it using a hobby fuse before hurling it through a front window of the DA's office at 715 W. 10th St., the affidavit states.

The propane-tank bomb did not fully enter the building, getting caught in the window's blinds, and McVay fled the scene, hearing the explosion from about a block away, the affidavit states.

The bombing was reported at 4:38 a.m. Nov. 13. The propane tank only partially detonated, catching fire instead of exploding, destroying several windows. Police said most of the building would have been leveled if it had fully detonated.

With a warrant for McVay's cellphone records, investigators tracked his phone's location to west Medford on the morning of the bombing and discovered messages sent to someone living on Jeanette Avenue.

About 30 minutes after the explosion, McVay text-messaged that number, saying, "If cops ask I have ben (sic) here sick," the affidavit states.

A response of "k," was received by McVay's cellphone one minute later, and a minute after that, "You got anything to do w light show?" was text messaged to McVay.

He responded, "No I kmnow (sic) who does," followed by "erase text messages," the affidavit states.

Police located McVay at a White City residence on Nov. 19 and monitored him for a day before arresting him Nov. 20 in the Bobbio's Pizza parking lot in White City, the affidavit states.

Carroll's affidavit states that Medford police had interviewed an associate of McVay's who explained his experiences detonating several improvised pipe bombs with McVay prior to Nov. 13, all of which were made from CO2 cylinders, one of which was identical to the one McVay allegedly used in the Nov. 13 bombing.

After arresting McVay, the affidavit states, police searched his truck and two travel trailers, seizing black tape, canisters of gun powder and pieces of fuse and gloves, among other things.

McVay told police he used a flask of gun powder and disassembled bullets for their powder to construct the pipe bomb in his pickup outside the Jeanette Avenue home, the affidavit states.

McVay has an extensive criminal history in Jackson County, with arrests and convictions for drug possession, burglaries, thefts and aggravated thefts, court records show.

Medford police, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, the Oregon State Police Bomb Squad, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked together on the investigation into this month's bombing.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or by email at samuelcwheeler@gmail.com.

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