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Sirens & Gavels

Experts dispute Fairfax’s claim re: bomb

This pipe bomb was attached to Cyndi Steele's car June 15 when she went to a Coeur d'Alene auto shop for a routine oil change. The photo was shown to jurors today in Edgar Steele's murder-for-hire trial.

BOISE - A Spokane County bomb expert said at Edgar Steele's murder-for-hire trial today that the pipe bomb attached to Cyndi Steele's SUV last June was capable of exploding and unlike any device he's seen.
 
“It's the largest pipe bomb that I've dealt with,” said Sgt. Mike Kittilstved, head of the Spokane County bomb squad, which dismantled the device.
 
Though hitman-turned-informant Larry Fairfax has said he rigged the bomb so it wouldn't explode, Kittilstved and other experts said that's wasn't the case.
 
Kittilstved said the device contained “a significant amount” of powder.
 
“Definitely enough to ignite the device,” he said.
 
Fairfax has said he cut the fuse in several places to prevent it from burning through.
 
But Agent Brennan Phillips, an explosives expert for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said the black tape on the device would still burn in place of the fuse.
 
“In fact, the tape will burn a little bit faster,” he said.
 
Phillips said the construction of the device showed him that “certainly there's a desire to make sure this thing works,” he said.
 
The bomb experts were today's last witnesses. 
 
The prosecution is expected to rest Monday after testimony from Steele's alleged European love interest.

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