Arrest Involving Explosives Links To Vandalism

In jail is Carl Timmons, 22, who as of Tuesday is no longer enrolled at Stephen F. Austin State University. A university spokesman said he's no longer a student by no action of the university. Timmons is facing several felony charges for the possession of explosive components, an improvised explosive device, and drugs. They were found in his Lakewood Village Apartment on Monday.

Timmons is also facing arson charges in connection with the destruction of a religious statue at the SFA Student Catholic Center back in September.   The Virgin Mary statue was vandalized with a pipe bomb. For two months its been in a closet as people wondered who caused the destruction. Now Catholic students can suspect Timmons and possibly his roommate. The question is turning from who to why. Student Rachel Jacobi commented, "I would like to know what his intentions behind it was."

The vandalism occurred a few days after the Pope made controversial comments about Islam. A possible intention, or could it be Timmons' military background. Police aren't releasing the extent of military service Timmons has had. Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Pike confirmed, "He had an entry level class with us back in fall 2002 and we have a number of students at the university that take classes within our department and of course we're open to that."

The discovery of bomb components, one completed improvised explosive device and drugs at Timmons' apartment is a dangerous combination. The find can rightfully so lead to speculation that something else was being planned. Student Mary Derkowski said, "(I'm) relieved that an arrest was made just because if they're gonna go around blowing things up that's just dangerous to the people around this area and we just don't want anyone to get hurt."

Timmons' complaint to police that his roommate had assaulted him is actually what led police to the stash of explosive items. No one knows what more could have happened had he remained silent. Police discovered what they first described as 'questionable items' during a follow up to a complaint Timmons had about his roommate. He had gone to SFA University Police concerning an assault.   When police arrived at the men's apartments they found items believed to explosive materials.  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents were called in. The streets were barricaded and the apartments evacuated in the wee hours of the morning.

Timmons' roommate whose name has not been released is in a mental hospital undergoing psychiatric testing. Psychiatric testing may be in order in such cases, but it doesn't necessarily clear a person of any guilt said psychiatrist Dr. Jim Buckingham. "Even if you have a psychiatric problem that does not excuse illegal behavior or dangerous behavior, but when you think back to Vietnam days, many Vietnam veterans came back with PTSD (post traumatic syndrome disorder) but they weren't blowing things up, or got into substance abuse and made poor choices."

The man is an SFA student. An SFA spokesman says once the facts have been gathered the university will take appropriate action to safeguard the campus community.     The man undergoing the mental evaluations has not been arrested or charged.

Bond was denied for Carl Timmons. He'll spend thanksgiving in jail and remain there pending a district court hearing. That won't happen until after a grand jury hears the case.