This is a Sept. 1, 2009, booking photograph owned by the Colorado Department of Corrections and taken in Denver of Thaddeus Murphy of Colorado Springs, Colo. Murphy has been arrested in connection with the explosion at a building in Colorado Springs on Jan. 6, 2015, that houses a barber shop and local chapter of the NAACP. (AP Photo/Colordo Department of Corrections, HO)
DENVER (AP) — A federal judge will decide whether a man accused of setting off a small explosion that rattled nerves because of its proximity to a Colorado NAACP office should stay jailed before his trial.
A detention hearing is set for Wednesday for 44-year-old Thaddeus Murphy, who was charged with arson of a building and being a felon in possession of a firearm after the Jan. 6 blast. A grand jury indicted him on Tuesday.
Investigators say Murphy told them he was distraught about his financial problems and was actually targeting his accountant.
Court records show Murphy admitted to making a pipe bomb in his garage and setting it off outside the because he was angry the accountant did not return his phone calls or give him back his tax records. It is unclear whether Murphy knew the accountant, Steve DeHaven, who died in June in Mesa, Arizona. DeHaven, pleaded guilty in 2010 to filing false tax returns and was released from federal prison in April 2013.
It’s also unclear whether DeHaven ever worked in the low-slung building, which houses a barber shop and the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP. A sign for an accountant’s business was still on the wall of the building last week, but NAACP leaders said it has been closed for 20 years. The chapter’s president, Henry D. Allen Jr. was skeptical of Murphy’s confession, but has not said whether he thinks the nation’s oldest civil rights organization was the target.
The crude explosive failed to ignite a gas canister set next to it and caused only minor damage.
Authorities initially investigated the blast as a potential hate crime. Prosecutors have determined the blast was not a case of domestic terrorism but are still investigating Murphy’s confession.