- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

YORK, Pa. (AP) - A former Pennsylvania man police say was upset by a protective order was charged Wednesday with threatening to cut off his ex-girlfriend’s head with an ax and kill state troopers.

Pennsylvania State Police filed attempted murder, terrorism and other charges against Howard Timothy Cofflin Jr., 56, of Dundalk, Maryland, after an investigation prompted by a warning call from his own lawyer.

Charging documents say Cofflin’s lawyer in a previous case contacted police in October to warn them Cofflin, upset over the possible loss of his house, had obtained body armor and was assembling an assault rifle.

The lawyer, not named in the affidavit, told investigators that Cofflin said he was making parts for the rifle, and “that as soon as the parts were machined he was going to take action.”

York lawyer Seamus Dubbs, listed as Cofflin’s attorney for an October hearing, declined comment Wednesday but said he would soon be withdrawing as Cofflin’s lawyer. He said he did not know if Cofflin currently has a lawyer to represent him on the charges. None was listed in the court’s online file. Cofflin’s phone also was not accepting messages.

Authorities said Wednesday Cofflin was jailed in Maryland, and they planned to seek extradition.

Police said Cofflin and his ex-girlfriend had a falling out over a burst pipe, leading her to call police then obtain a protective order in August. Police said he was angered by the order, which kept him from collecting his belongings from the home in Loganville, near the York state police station. Investigators said he told them he purchased an ax to decapitate his ex-girlfriend.

In an interview Oct. 23, Cofflin told police he was building explosives and bombs, and converting a propane tank so it would blow up if police came to the door of his home, police said.

“So I’m planning to go to war. I’m not mentally insane. I know they’re going to get me,” police say Cofflin told them. “I’m not suicidal. I’m not going to kill myself. I’m going to go and … I’m going to do what I have to do.”

Police said Cofflin’s Internet searches included “how to kill a state trooper” and he bookmarked the sites “how to build an incendiary bomb more powerful than napalm” and “murder-suicide: when killing yourself isn’t enough.”

Items recovered from Cofflin’s home, car and storage units included propane tanks, a police scanner, parts to build an AR15 rifle, six 30-round magazines, body armor and handwritten notes about the state police station in Loganville.

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