Bombing of District Attorney’s Office Results in Federal Prison Sentence
MEDFORD, OR—Alan Leroy McVay, 47, of Medford, Oregon was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Judge Owen M. Panner after his conviction for malicious destruction of property by explosion for the bombing of the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. The court also ordered McVay to pay $14,854.20 in restitution to Jackson County for the damage to the District Attorney’s office.
On November 13, 2013, McVay assembled a bomb by attaching a CO2 metal cylinder filled with gunpowder to a propane tank and inserted a fuse into the CO2 cylinder as a means of detonating the tank. McVay wanted to destroy the District Attorney’s office in order to delay his plea and sentencing in state court scheduled for the following day. McVay had been charged in state court with committing four residential burglaries and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
At approximately 4:30 a.m., McVay took the bomb to the District Attorney’s office, lit the fuse and attempted to throw it through an office window, but it was held on the window sill by an office blind, preventing it from completely entering the office. The CO2 cylinder exploded, puncturing a hole in the propane tank resulting in fire spewing from the tank. The device was blown just outside the broken window and was on fire when police and fire personnel arrived on the scene. The explosion broke other exterior windows and debris was blown both in and outside the building. Immediately following the explosion, it was unknown whether there were other explosive devices in the area, whether a specific prosecutor or the entire office was being targeted and whether there were other targets. Police began checking other government buildings, residences of the prosecutors and judges, and the state circuit court was closed that morning. The District Attorney’s office remained inaccessible for two days.
Several days later, detectives and federal agents received a tip that McVay was believed to have committed the bombing. Following up on the tip, they determined that McVay and his codefendant in the state case, who had already been sentenced, had several telephone conversations. Recordings of those conversations revealed McVay talking before the bombing about having “some things to do it with,” “[getting] rid of all kinds of paper from the ground up” and “it’ll be fun” and “you’ll hear about it.” After the bombing, McVay mentioned about somebody blowing up the District Attorney’s office and it was “funny shit.” They also determined McVay was in the vicinity of the District Attorney’s office during the early morning rs of the bombing. Later, search warrants for McVay’s pickup and residence uncovered containers of gun powder, bullets separated from cartridges and the exact type of tape on the explosive device used in the bombing. When McVay was arrested and confronted with all the evidence the police had accumulated against him, McVay confessed to the bombing.
Judge Panner agreed that the use of the destructive device in an attempt to destroy the District Attorney’s office and the significant disruption it caused to that office and the Jackson County criminal justice system warranted the enhanced 15 year sentence. As part of McVay’s federal guilty plea, he will also enter guilty pleas to the four residential burglaries and being a felon in possession of a firearm in state court with those sentences to be served concurrent with his federal sentence.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall commended both local and federal law enforcement for their thorough and effective investigation in quickly solving the bombing of the District Attorney’s office. She also said, “Any attack on the criminal justice system will not be tolerated” and “if the District Attorney’s office had been destroyed or anyone injured, the consequences for the attack would have been even more severe.”
This case was investigated by the Medford Police Department, the Oregon State Police, the FBI and ATF. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Chatfield.