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Amherst man accused of having explosive device in vehicle denied bond

Amherst man accused of having explosive device in vehicle denied bond

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AMHERST — An Amherst County man charged with a felony count of manufacturing/possession of an explosive device following a May 25 incident was denied release on bond Thursday.

Gregory Todd Maddox, 51, was arrested following a family dispute in the county that led to him fleeing from an Amherst sheriff’s deputy in a Toyota pickup truck and getting pulled over in Lynchburg.

A Virginia State Police trooper pulled the vehicle over shortly before 8:30 p.m. May 25. Search of the vehicle “yielded the discovery of a suspicious device,” state police said in a previous news release.

“State police bomb technicians responded to the scene and rendered it safe,” the release said. “Further investigation confirmed it was a homemade explosive device.”

Maddox awaits a Sept. 11 preliminary hearing in Lynchburg General District Court on the creating and possessing an explosive device charge, court records show. In Amherst County he is charged with threatening to bomb or burn a structure, a felony, and two misdemeanor counts of using profane language on a public airway.

Maddox previously was denied bond in Amherst General District Court and appealed to Amherst Circuit Court Judge Michael Garrett at a hearing Thursday. Appearing via video while in custody at a local jail, Maddox testified he has a place to stay if granted release while awaiting trial.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Clint Carwile said May 25 a woman filed a complaint accusing Maddox of making threats and saying he would do harm to herself and family members and “we would be hamburger meat.”

Another woman also formally complained Maddox threatened herself and her family, and the neighbors stated to authorities Maddox said he would blow up their house and brandished a crossbow, according to Carwile.

On May 25, a deputy observed Maddox in his Toyota truck and yelled for him to stop and the defendant drove away, Carwile said. The crossbow and “what appears to be a pipe bomb” later was found in the truck when Maddox was stopped, Carwile said.

Michael Lovell, Maddox’s attorney, said the incident stemmed from a family disturbance involving neighbors, no one was hurt and argued Maddox is not a flight risk. He also said a pipe was found in the truck and stated in court it was not an explosive.

Carwile said the incident rose to more than just words exchanged between neighbors, as a crossbow and what appeared to be an explosive device were found in the Toyota.

“I think he’s a clear danger to both himself and others,” Carwile said in arguing against bond. “I have a lot of red flags here ...”

Carwile also mentioned 12 previous unrelated felony convictions in Maddox’s criminal history and said the defendant “doesn’t have a solid grasp of the situation” that unfolded Memorial Day.

In ruling for Maddox to remain in custody awaiting trial, Garrett mentioned Maddox driving off after an officer had yelled for him to stop. “There is an element of flight risk there,” the judge said.

Maddox is scheduled for an Aug. 6 preliminary hearing in Amherst General District Court on the three Amherst-related charges he faces, records show.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.

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