Richland man pleads innocent to pipe bomb possession

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldMarch 27, 2014 

A Richland man pleaded innocent Thursday to allegations he had a homemade pipe bomb when he was found passed out in his car at a shopping center.

Brandon Jedd Starkey, 29, faces trial May 12 in Benton County Superior Court on one count of possession of an incendiary device. Bail was set at $20,000.

Richland police and fire crews were sent to the Safeway parking lot off George Washington Way in Richland last Saturday afternoon for reports of a man passed out inside a Honda Accord.

The first firefighters to arrive found the man -- later identified as Starkey -- in the front seat, and were able to wake him, court documents said.

Officers then saw what appeared to be a pipe bomb on the front passenger seat of the Honda, documents said.

Authorities earlier told the Herald that Starkey might have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time.

Starkey admitted that it was a homemade black powder bomb he made to possibly kill himself if contacted by police, court documents said.

Officers were able to get him out of the car and into handcuffs.

The Richland Bomb Squad then was called in, and officers blocked off the parking lot to the public.

Bomb squad members disabled the bomb in the lot, documents said. It was made of PVC pipe.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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