The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Video details bomb plan
BY KEITH EPPS
Police have recovered two computer memory cards on which a man accused of trying to kill two Stafford County deputies and his former girlfriend discusses his sinister plans, court records show.Laurence Alan Stewart II, 25, is being held under a $2 million bond in Cascade County, Mont., where he is charged with three counts of attempted murder.
He is accused of throwing pipe bombs at police officers there who were pursuing him Nov. 1 after he fled from a traffic stop.
Stewart was already the target of a nationwide search after bombs exploded at three area homes, two in Stafford and one in Fredericksburg.
Stewart’s former girlfriend lives in one of the Stafford homes, and a Stafford detective lives in the other, police said. The city residence is the former home of another Stafford deputy with whom Stewart had prior dealings.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, a man who lives with Stewart’s father in Glenolden, Pa., contacted a federal special agent Thursday after intercepting a mailing intended for the father.
Inside a plastic bag delivered by the Postal Service were two memory cards labeled “A” and “B,” the affidavit states. The return address was the home of Stewart’s mother in Glenolden.
The father’s roommate placed one of the memory cards into his computer and began watching a video in which Stewart talks about his involvement in the attempted slayings of the former girlfriend and the Stafford officers, court records state.
The roommate told police he then stopped watching the video and called Special Agent David O’Brien with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
A letter to Stewart’s father included in the mailing states that memory card A is a “message to the world,” and B is “me threatening everyone.”
“You have 2 copies of each in case you want to turn one over to the police. Be sure to sell these to the news for as much as you can,” the letter says.
The affidavit gives no more details about the content of the memory cards, which were later turned over to the Stafford Sheriff’s Office.
The search warrant obtained by Detective Michelle Gibbons authorizes police to watch the videos as part of their ongoing investigation of Stewart.
Prior to the pipe-bombing incidents, Stewart set up an Internet blog on which he claimed he has been unfairly treated in Stafford.
He was particularly critical of the former girlfriend, her mother and the officers involved in misdemeanor cases against him.
Stewart was stopped for speeding in Montana on Nov. 1. He sped away from the traffic stop, leading police on a 40-mile chase during which several pipe bombs exploded on the highway.
Police recovered a number of explosives from Stewart’s car after he was apprehended.
It remains unclear when Stewart will be brought back to Virginia to face charges, which include two counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer.
Stewart grew up outside Philadelphia and came to Stafford to be with his girlfriend, whom, police said, he met in law school in North Carolina.
His legal problems in Stafford began on June 26, when he was arrested on a domestic assault charge involving his girlfriend.
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404