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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended November 03, 2000
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and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 06Nov00

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


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