King was arrested by Adairsville police officers just before 9 p.m. July 9 after being involved in a domestic violence incident at his home in the county, Adairsville Police Department Lt. Mike Fitz said Tuesday.
The officer located a roughly 2-foot long piece of pipe in the seat of the Cadillac King was driving. Believing it was involved in the prior incident, the officer removed the pipe to find one end welded shut with a fuse roughly 2 inches from the bottom, Fitz said.
Authorities evacuated the area and called in Northwest Georgia Bomb Squad.
“They came out to scene, robots removed the item ...,” Fitz said. “They rendered it safe and detonated it at a safe location.”
He said King had admitted the pipe, which was open on the second end, contained 6 inches of black powder and a rag.
King’s defense attorney told Nelson that King had the device after a friend built the “cannon.”
“Some people like fireworks — that’s what he liked to do,” the attorney said.
According to King’s attorney, the friend had asked King to take the device and set it off to determine whether the friend could hear the detonation at his home.
The attorney pointed out that newspaper reports stated the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who plan to pursue no federal charges, had said the device was not explosive.
Fitz said the device met requirements for an explosive under state law.
“[Northwest Georgia Bomb Squad] advised it was a destructive and explosive device per the Georgia code. ATF has not picked it up due to the fact that it doesn’t neet the federal threshold,” he said.
When asked by King’s attorney about information from the friend who built the device, Fitz said the friend lived outside the agency’s jurisdiction and he could not comment on why the property was not searched.
“His friend lives outside the municipal limits of the city of Adairsville,” he said. “We were prepared the following day to do a search warrant. It was typed and ready to be signed, executed. I don’t know. It’s above my pay grade as to why we didn’t ...”
King’s attorney said the defendant was a lifelong resident of Adairsville and had a residence to go to where the female involved in the domestic dispute was not residing.
He also said the domestic terrorism charge was “nowhere near anything” as serious as larger-scale incidents. “It’s nothing like a Boston [bombing].”