Officers arrest student, find bomb materials in Hester room

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Photo provided by Calloway County Jail

A Murray State student was arrested Jan. 31 on a charge relating to the possession of bomb-making materials.

Murray State Police arrested David M. Wilson, freshman from Florissant, Mo., at 12:50 p.m. on Jan. 31 for first-degree wanton endangerment.

During a warranted search of his room at 314 Hester College, police found all the components to make a pipe bomb, including a pipe, fuse and black powder mixed with ammonium nitrate, according to the arrest report. Catherine Sivills, assistant vice president of Communications, said the materials were safely removed from campus.

Mike Young, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said Florissant Police Department officials contacted Public Safety, following an investigation they had conducted on Wilson.

After officials read him his Miranda rights, the arrest report states David. M. Wilson admitted to detonating at least two other pipe bombs in St. Charles County, Mo.

Young said the student was removed from the residence hall and the court banned him from campus.

“You ban a student from campus if you feel their presence could present a threat to others,” Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said.

John David Wilson, director of Housing and Residence Life, said an investigation is underway.

He said Public Safety and the Housing Office were notified of a search being conducted in one of the rooms of Hester College. Representatives from the offices were present at the time of the search.

An affidavit from the Murray State Police stated David M. Wilson consented to the search of his room on Jan. 31. He was arrested following the search.

David M. Wilson was detained overnight at the Calloway County Jail and was released on a cash bond of $2,500. Bail was set for $25,000.

His parents drove him home after his release. Conditions of his release include staying off Murray State’s campus, staying off any property that sells ammonium nitrate and not being allowed to leave his home in Missouri before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

The University Judicial Board will not meet as the student withdrew from Murray State.

David M. Wilson is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing in Calloway District Court at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Defense Attorney Rick Lamkin will represent him.

Lamkin would not comment.

Relatives of David M. Wilson declined to comment regarding the charges when called, and the defendant could not be reached.

Mark Blankenship, Commonwealth Attorney, said Lamkin explained during the arraignment that the student’s interest in possessing the materials was recreational.

“It’s awfully odd for a young man to have those materials in a dorm room,” Blankenship said. “I heard enough to know that there were previous incidents in St. Charles.”

He said that due to the severity of the case it could result in federal involvement.

President Randy Dunn said the University is taking an aggressive stance to deal with the student because there is a zero-tolerance policy for issues of this magnitude.

Said Dunn: “As always, the number one role of the University is the safety and security of our students.”