Shiloh airman indicted in pipe bomb case

News-DemocratOctober 24, 2013 

— A federal grand jury indicted senior airman in the U.S. Air Force on charges that he possessed explosive devices.

The grand jury found probable cause that Justin A. Vangilder, 24, should face charges of possessing three unregistered explosive destructive devices, more commonly known as pipe bombs, comprised of plastic or metal pipes with end caps containing energetic material, smokeless powder, fuses and shrapnel.

Three days after his arrest on Oct. 3, Vangilder was ordered by a federal magistrate judge to undergo a psychiatric exam.

In his request for the mental exam, Vangilder's attorney, Phillip J. Kavanaugh, stated in a motion that Vangilder "is suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering hiim mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or assist properly in his defense."

Investigators raided Vangilder's home on Twin Oaks Drive in Shiloh and found the pipe bombs inside a leather briefcase.

Vangilder told a visitor to his home that he intended to inflict mass casualties and fantasized about killing child molesters. He also told the visitor that he was disappointed that his parents didn't support him during his recent divorce.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Vangilder has been in federal custody since his arrest.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at or 618-239-2570.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at or 618-239-2570.

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