- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - A man pleaded guilty Monday to trying to blow up the prosecutor’s office to delay being sentenced in a burglary case, making him eligible for five times the amount of prison time he had been facing.

Alan Leroy McVay entered the guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Medford to one count of malicious destruction of property by explosion. He had been facing three years in state prison on the burglary charge but now could get 15 years in federal prison under the plea agreement.

In the plea agreement, McVay admitted taping a pipe bomb to a propane tank last November and throwing it at a window of the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office in Medford. The bomb never got through the window, and the propane did not explode. Firefighters found the tank burning on the ground outside.

The prosecution and defense agreed to a recommended sentence of 15 years in prison. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke set sentencing for Aug. 18.

Defense attorney Bryan Butler did not comment in court about the agreement, and McVay made no statements, other than procedural ones related to his plea.

Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe, whose office took the brunt of the blast, said outside the courtroom that investigators at the time thought the blast may have been tied to a murder case he was prosecuting, “but it turned out to be completely random.”

Because of those concerns, he pulled his two children from school and arranged protection for his wife, but he continued going to work. Later, when one of his children came to the office, he noticed that material from the blast was sticking into a poster his son had made for his father.

“He saw that and put it together and he was scared,” Hoppe said. “It robbed the peace of mind from a lot of people in the district attorney’s office.”

Inside the office, damage was limited primarily to the broken window and a broken computer monitor, Hoppe said.

In the plea agreement, McVay admitted that the purpose of making the bomb was to destroy the district attorney’s office because he wanted to delay his sentencing in the burglary case, which was scheduled for the next day.

Hoppe said that even if the office and everything in it had been destroyed, all the records are kept digitally and the case against McVay could have been reconstructed.

McVay also agreed to plead guilty to burglary and firearms charges from his older case, and the prosecution recommends that sentence be served concurrently with the federal sentence.

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