Bank bombing suspect charged with murder

December 15, 2008 5:16:57 PM PST
A 32-year-old steelworker is charged with murder and other crimes after a bomb explosion at a bank that killed two law enforcers and critically injured a third, officials said Monday. Joshua A. Turnidge was arrested Sunday after police released surveillance photographs of him, the Marion County district attorney's office said. Officials did not identify him until Monday.

Court officials didn't know Monday whether Turnidge had an attorney. He is to be arraigned Tuesday.

The announcement didn't say what led officers to Turnidge but said it wasn't the "direct result" of a tip from the public. Investigators have not disclosed information about a motive.

Turnidge was arrested in Salem, where he lives, about 20 miles south of Woodburn, where the bomb exploded Friday at a West Coast Bank branch office.

He also faces charges of manufacturing and possession of a dangerous device, assault, and conspiracy, prosecutors said.

Public records show that Turnidge served in the Navy and worked in Salem as a steelworker as recently as December 2006.

The manager of the bank branch found the device Friday after a call about a bomb threat to a nearby Wells Fargo bank turned up a harmless device. The bomb at West Coast was found outside, but officers took it inside, where it exploded. Investigators have said they do not know why the bomb was taken inside.

Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell was still in critical condition Monday at a Portland hospital as a result of the blast, which killed Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper William Hakim, a bomb disposal technician.


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