Explosives suspect makes court appearance
A man accused of making explosives in his Spokane Valley apartment told police he planned to use them for a cannon on the Fourth of July.
But detectives say John D. Raymond was angry with the courts over his divorce and worried that the “very potent, very unstable” material, popular with suicide bombers in the Middle East, posed a danger to his neighbors and possibly court officials.
Raymond, 53, appeared Tuesday in Spokane County Superior Court via video from the jail, where he’d been since he was arrested a day earlier at the Oakwood Club Apartments, 726 N. McDonald Road.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force had forwarded a tip to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that Raymond was making explosives in his home there. The tipster told detectives Raymond had “hydrogen peroxide, acetone, some type of acid, fuses, glass vials, recipes for making explosives and firearms,” according to court documents.
Hydrogen peroxide and acetone are two main ingredients in triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, which detectives believe Raymond was making.
Judge Jerome Leveque set Raymond’s bond at $1,000 Tuesday, noting three misdemeanors on his record from the early 1980s. Raymond was arrested on a civil bench warrant Monday from 2008 for failing to show up for a hearing in his divorce case. The warrant was recalled Tuesday at the request of Terry D. Gobel, lawyer for Raymond’s ex-wife, Carlee Jeanne Raymond.
The Raymonds filed for divorce in 2006 in Spokane County Superior Court. The case ended up in the state Court of Appeals. Raymond told KREM TV in a taped interview that he was hoping the explosives would allow the federal courts system to review his divorce, but he didn’t elaborate. He denied making a bomb and said he didn’t want to hurt anyone.
“You need to dig to see what the court system has done to me,” Raymond told KREM.
Raymond was outside his apartment in a wheelchair when detectives arrived at his apartment at 3:40 p.m. Monday, according to court documents.
He told detectives he needed to go inside to use the bathroom, then let them in at their request, according to documents. Raymond reportedly told police he had recipes for making explosives but insisted he hadn’t done so.
Detectives found a glass jar containing an estimated half pound TATP in a dresser drawer, police said. Police evacuated neighboring apartments and closed McDonald Road as a robot removed the substance and a bomb squad searched the area.
The suspected TATP was detonated in a secure location and soil samples were collected as evidence, police said.