By Kent Larsen
Parents Shocked at Prosecution of LDS Teen's Pranks
ELDORADO HILLS, CALIFORNIA -- The parents and friends of two LDS
teens are shocked that county prosecutors would prosecute their
Halloween pranks. The two teens have pleaded not guilty to unlawful
possession of a destructive device and other charges after they built
and exploded two small "bombs" and destroyed a neighbor's plastic
pumpkin and a basketball-sized real pumpkin.
"We're devastated and shocked by the level of seriousness that
they've taken this," said Caren Crandall-Terry, mother of one of the
boys, David Albert Crandall Jr., 19. Crandall and David Adam Duffin,
18, exploded one device in the yard of Sandra Simmons, destroying a
99-cent plastic pumpkin and damaging a light fixture. They then went
to the parking lot of a nearby elementary school, where they blew a
four-inch hole in a real pumpkin.
After getting something to eat at a nearby Taco Bell, the young men
returned to Simmons house to see what their explosive did and
discovered police on the scene. When the police asked them if they
knew anything about the explosions, they admitted what they had done.
Crandall and Duffin had fashioned their devices from 3/4" PVC pipe
and leftover fireworks. Prosecutors have taken the explosives
seriously, however. "Those were not just fireworks. They were pipe
bombs," said District Attorney Gary L. Lacy. In addition to the two
detonated devices, police found five more devices in the car Crandall
and Duffin were driving.
According to Crandall-Terry, the boys had no idea the prank would be
treated so seriously. She said they waited in the back of a patrol
car, thinking, "The sheriff's (deputies) are trying to scare us.
They're going to take us home now."
But instead, police locked the teens up for two nights and charged
them with multiple felonies. They are free on $50,000 bail each,
although that amount may be reduce in a hearing today. A preliminary
hearing is scheduled for later this week.
Meanwhile, the young men's bishop, Kirk Norman of the Oak Ridge Ward,
wrote to the court on behalf of the young men, saying that Duffin is
a youth leader and that both have supported local service projects.
The neighbor, Sandra Simmons, is also mystified at the prosecution.
"I just took it as a Halloween prank. I don't think of it as a
malicious offense." She says Duffin and Crandall apologized to her
two days after the prank, and offered to pay for damages or mow her
lawn for her.
Felony charges prompt outcry: Teens accused of pumpkin blasts
Sacramento CA Bee 2Nov00 D2
By Wayne Wilson: Bee Staff Writer