Local charges dropped against man accused of Providence explosion

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

LOGAN — State prosecutors have dropped the charges against Joshua D. Keith as federal authorities prepare to file their own case.  The 22-year-old Providence man is suspected of causing an explosion in April that resulted in the evacuation of several neighboring homes.

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.

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.

Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazzard asked the court to dismiss the case without prejudice.  He explained later that the charges were being dropped because federal charges are pending.  The request means state prosecutors can still refile their case in the future if they choose.

In April, 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.

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 chemical in Salt Lake.  He explained that Keith was packing the HMTD into spent rifle cartridge casings, when one of the casings exploded.

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.

Court records show Toombs is scheduled to appear again in court in August.  Federal charges have not been filed against either man.  Both are out of jail.


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