Bomb-Maker In Boise Was Preparing For The End Of The World
Last year, police discovered that a man’s home was filled with explosives, so he went on to explain to investigators that he was preparing for society to crumble. Society may be more challenging for him since he was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison and will have to serve at least 13 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Joshua James Finch, 33, said he believed an electromagnetic pulse would knock out all the electronics in the country, and society would plunge into anarchy.
Finch was arrested in November after alarming his then-fiance with his all-nighters while locked in the shed and attempting to purchase body armor and guns over Craigslist.
When his fiancé and her parents confronted him about his behavior, Finch snapped, slamming the woman’s father into a wall, then threatened to kill him if he went to police, according to KTVB.
Two days later, Finch was arrested and charged with felonies including injury to children and unlawful possession of destructive devices.
According to police, Finch was making pipe bombs and had an AR-15 and more than 100 pounds of explosives in his home. The bomb components were hidden beneath a trap door in Finch’s laundry room, in a crawlspace that snaked beneath his two young children’s room.
“He was willing to put their lives at risk, as well as those in the community,” Prosecutor Tamara Kelly said.
For blocks around, neighbors had to be evacuated after his arrest in November, and it took law enforcement two days to empty the house of its volatile contents. Members of the bomb squad had to strip off their protective gear in order to enter the crawlspace’s small opening, Kelly said, not knowing if the space was booby-trapped or about to detonate, according to KTVB.
As it happens, found among the fuse, shrapnel and buckets of black powder, was what police described as a “victim-activated device.” designed so that when someone picked it up, a rolling ball inside dislodged a pin, which would result in detonating it.
Kelly said, the presence of a device that can harm indiscriminately puts the lie to Finch’s assertion that he was just trying to protect his family as Armageddon drew near.
In response, defense attorney Ransom Bailey said, “He’s not a member of some fringe group, he hasn’t espoused some hatred of the government, he isn’t a member of a particular gang.”
Bailey further said, the defendant’s parents held similar beliefs about a looming end.
Baily said that Finch, as a child, had become a ward of the state which landed him in a group home, but he was working to rise above his start.
“He was making something of his life,” Bailey said. “This is someone who is smart and capable.”
But things went off the rails when Finch dropped a class, and the university warned him his student loans were coming due, Bailey said. The stress overwhelmed him, and he turned to alcohol and an inner fantasy world, the attorney said. Bailey says it was then Finch became fixated on the end of the world and building bombs he likely would have never used.
Finch, who accepted a plea deal in May, also denied he had havoc in mind when he filled his home with explosives.
“I know all this looks really bad,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.”
Judge Thomas Neville countered that by noting that a person who stores explosives beneath a child’s bedroom was not someone who cared about hurting others.
“You went well beyond preparing to protect your family,” he said while handing down the sentence. “You were preparing for war.”
He said he was particularly alarmed by Finch’s threat to kill any police officers who came to arrest him if his fiance’s parents turned him in.
“You were prepared to fight with anyone who came to the house,” Neville said.”That goes well beyond any legitimate right for self-protection or protection of your family.”
Watch courtesy of KTVB:
H/T: The Agnostic-God @ComenKDT with thanks.