Medford man gets 5 years for homemade explosives
A Medford man will serve prison time for numerous homemade explosives that he detonated in Medford, Central Point and White City neighborhoods.
Brian Matthew Lighthill, 23, was sentenced to five years in prison Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to felony counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device, admitting that he set off numerous small explosive devices overnight in residential areas that did little damage, but disrupted neighborhoods earlier this year.
Among the earliest breaks in the case was on Jan. 22, when a witness brought in evidence to Medford police that was later determined to be live explosives, according to a release issued Friday by Senior Deputy District Attorney Alyssa Claseman, who prosecuted the case.
Throughout February into early March, multiple witnesses complained of explosions in southern Central Point, according to a March Central Point police Facebook post and an earlier news report. At the site of one explosion, investigators found a portion of a CO2 cartridge, but no damage.
Police further linked Lighthill to vehicles spotted on neighborhood home surveillance videos at the time of the explosions.
On March 18, Medford police and an Oregon State Police bomb squad served a search warrant on Lighthill’s home in the 1100 block of Shar Way. Inside, the bomb squad found and ultimately rendered safe 23 manufactured devices, and also found evidence that included chemicals used to make homemade flash powder, fuses and grenade bodies, according to Claseman.
“When Mr. Lighthill was interviewed by law enforcement, he admitted to building the items, but stated that his intention was not to harm anyone,” Claseman’s release states.
Lighthill faced a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and a $2.625 million fine on the 23 counts of manufacturing a destructive device and nine counts of possessing a destructive device, according to a court document filed Friday in the case.
Lighthill was sentenced Friday to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to 12 of the manufacturing charges and all nine of the destructive device possession charges, as terms of a plea agreement negotiated between Claseman and Lighthill’s defense lawyer Zachary Light.
Lighthill was also sentenced Friday to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to delivering and possessing heroin charges surrounding a Rogue Area Drug Enforcement task force arrest in February of last year. The drug prison sentence will run alongside the explosives sentence.