No preliminary hearing yet for man suspected of Providence home explosion

Joshua D. Keith booking photo (Courtesy: Cache County Jail).

LOGAN — Attorneys are waiting to decide whether to hold a preliminary hearing for Joshua D. Keith. The 22-year-old Providence man is suspected of causing an explosion in April that resulted in the evacuation of several neighboring homes.

Keith appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. He was previously charged with two counts of recklessness involving an incendiary device, a second-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

Deputies learned of the explosion after Keith was driven to Logan Regional Hospital with shrapnel wounds to his stomach, hands and face. His friend, Jeffrey Toombs, told investigators that the two men were manufacturing a “homemade blasting cap” inside Toombs’ garage when the device unintentionally detonated.

FBI agents and Cache County Sheriff deputies outside a Providence home near 450 East 125 North, where an explosion Tuesday night sent a man to the hospital with shrapnel wounds.

When investigators arrived at Toombs’ home, near 435 East 125 North, they found a bottle of tan colored substance. It was later determined to be hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), a high explosive organic compound.

Toombs told deputies that the two men bought the explosive compound in Salt Lake. He explained that Keith was packing the HMTD into spent rifle cartridge casings, when one of the casings exploded.

Court records show Toombs is scheduled to appear again in court on similar charges next week.

The charges filed against both men are state charges and federal charges are still pending. The investigation was turned over to the FBI when deputies learned that Toombs and Keith had explosive licenses from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

During Tuesday’s court appearance, public defender Bryan Galloway explained that the investigation against Keith is still going on. He said they were still uncertain whether they were going to request a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present their evidence.

Judge Kevin Allen said he would allow attorneys more time. He ordered Keith to appear again in court July 7.

Keith remains out of jail after posting $10,000 bail. He could face up to 15-years in prison if convicted.

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