FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:June 18, 2014
Contact: Heather F. WilliamsonCommonwealth’s Attorney’s Office20 East Market StreetLeesburg, VA 20176-2809(703) 777-0242
CALLAHAN CONVICTED FOR RIVER CREEK BOMB EXPLOSION
LEESBURG, Virginia – June 18, 2014. A three day trial ended late this afternoon with a jury finding Austin Albert Callahan, 21, guilty of two counts of manufacturing an explosive device and recommending the imposition of a fine for each charge.
In the evening hours of August 20, 2013, residents in the area of River Creek Club called 911 to report an explosion on the golf course. Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Investigators from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the area. A search of the golf course revealed a blast area and remains of an explosive device consistent with that of a pipe bomb.
Additional investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms developed Callahan as a suspect. A search warrant was executed on Callahan’s residence four days after the incident. During the execution of the search warrant an additional explosive device was located inside the residence. The device was rendered safe by authorities, and Callahan was subsequently arrested.
Over the course of the trial, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Pohlner introduced evidence showing that Callahan was not just making a “fountain firework,” as suggested by the defense. Home Depot receipts, photographs, text messages, and what was remaining of the pipe bombs were submitted into evidence. Pohlner further constructed his case using witness testimony regarding electronic devices, chemistry, and explosive devices by ATF experts.
“Through the coordinated efforts of federal and local law enforcement, a thorough investigation was conducted and this incident was quickly contained before any innocent citizens were injured,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman. “I’m pleased with the jury’s verdict and their decision to hold the defendant accountable for his actions,” Plowman continued.
A final sentencing date is set for October 10, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., before the Hon. Stephen E. Sincavage who presided over the multi-day trial.