A man thought to have committed a hate crime in planting a bomb out side of an NAACP building, was actually targeting is crooked accountant. Thaddeus Murphy, 44, of Colorado Springs, told the FBI when he was arrested that the target of his pipe bomb in January was not the NAACP but the offices of accountant Steve Dehaven.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Bomb Did Minor Damage to the NAACP Building
On January 6, a bomb exploded outside of the NAACP building in Colorado Springs, doing minor damage. ABC Denver reports that nobody was hurt and the FBI said the building only suffered “minimal surface damage.” The Associated Press described the bombing as rattling “nerves due to its proximity to the nation’s oldest civil right organization.” The person-of-interest had been described as a 40-year-old balding male.
2. Murphy Is Not Being Charged With a Hate Crime
The Denver Post reports that authorities don’t think Murphy was targeting the NAACP building specifically and he is not being charged with a hate crime. Murphy is being charged with one count of arson. NBC Denver reports that Murphy told investigators he was targeting a tax preparatory business that shares a space with the NAACP. CBS Denver reports that Murphy had been angry with the tax company for messing up his return and causing him to owe money to the IRS.
3. The Accountant That Murphy Says He Was Targeting Spent 3 Years in Prison in a Tax Case
According to court documents, Murphy said that his specific target was an accountant named Steve Dehaven. Murphy claimed Dehaven had been withholding Murphy’s tax documents from 2006 and was ducking him. In the docs, Murphy admits to learning how to make a pipe bomb online and using it to scare Dehaven. The bomb at the time was described as “not sophisticated,” reports KWGN. In 2010, Steve Dehaven was convicted of preparing false tax returns and spent three years in prison.
4. Murphy Was Arrested at His Home in Colorado Springs
NBC Denver reports that Murphy was taken into custody on February 19. His home in Colorado Springs was searched by the FBI and the ATF. A search was also done at a storage facility owned by Murphy. The documents related to the say that during the investigation into Murphy, he had to be treated for an overdose of Ambien.
You can read the full arrest documents above.
5. His Last Arrest Was in 2007 in a Theft Case
In 2007, Murphy pleaded guilty to a felony theft case in El Paso County, Colorado. CBS Denver reports that his criminal record in the area goes back to 1989 when he was arrested for burglary. In 1991, he also was cited for failure to appear.