Childs pleads guilty in explosion caseBrian Childs, the man accused of detonating a massive explosion on his Welch property, pleaded guilty Thursday to two felonies in the case that drew national attention.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
Brian Childs, the man accused of detonating a massive explosion on his Welch property, pleaded guilty Thursday to two felonies in the case that drew national attention.
Childs, 32, pleaded guilty to possession of an explosive with destruction of property and possession of an explosive or blasting agent without a permit or license.
Authorities were called Jan. 13, 2008, to his property after an explosion shook the area. Security personnel at the Prairie Island nuclear plant said the blast rattled windows at the guard station and reportedly tripped alarms at the plant.
Police obtained a video of the incident, in which a gunshot is heard and followed immediately by a large explosion. Authorities said shrapnel from the blast flew up to a quarter-mile.
Childs told investigators the explosion was generated when a .50 caliber rifle round struck a barrel containing 100 pounds of Tannerite, a substance he had purchased over the Internet. The barrel was placed inside a dump truck box, which blew to smithereens.
He was charged with multiple felonies, including causing an explosion with gross disregard for human life. The case was set for a Sept. 14 trial date.
Under a plea agreement reached with Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Chris Schrader, Childs must pay a $2,500 fine and $971 to the Goodhue County Sheriff's Department for investigative costs.
Childs will be eligible for a stay of adjudication in the case — which could result in the convictions being wiped from his record — if he follows probationary terms and any sentencing conditions.
Schrader called the agreement "a fair and appropriate resolution."
"The incident was extremely dangerous but was done without malice and without intent to injure any person or property, except an old dump truck box," he said. "Hopefully the public and law enforcement are now more aware of the dangers of Tannerite, which is an explosive when mixed."
Schrader added that the state requires a license or permit to possess an explosive. He said Childs was prohibited from possessing a firearm or explosive.
Childs did not return a call seeking comment. He will be sentenced Oct. 9.