Church Pipe-bomb suspect indicted on 6 felony counts

| November 7, 2010

NEWARK — A man accused of driving a pipe bomb into a Licking Township church was indicted Thursday with six felony counts.

Dax W. Cantrell, 35, no last known address, was charged with one count each of fleeing, a third-degree felony; unlawful possession of a dangerous ordinance, a fifth-degree felony; vandalism, a fourth-degree felony; vandalism, a fifth-degree felony; burglary, a third-degree felony and illegal manufacturing of processing explosives, a second-degree felony.

On Oct. 27, Cantrell reportedly crashed a 1988 Ford Econoline van into Vineyard Grace Fellowship Church, 4905 Jacksontown Road SE, with a functional pipe bomb inside the vehicle.

Police report Cantrell was driving away from a Licking County Sheriff's Office who tried to serve him with papers for not paying child support. He rammed her vehicle at a Newark motel and fled.

The Franklin County bomb squad rendered the explosive safe. With the exception of Cantrell, no one was injured.

After obtaining a search warrant for the van, officers found letters that indicated the possibility of explosives being left in a courthouse, according to a news release from the Licking County Sheriff's Office.

The common pleas, municipal and domestic relations courthouses were searched Tuesday night, but nothing was found.

Law enforcement also located a non-functional explosive in a storage unit Cantrell owned on North 11th Street, according to the news release.

Cantrell has a history of not appearing for court hearings in domestic relations and has been found in contempt of court, according to records.

On Oct. 26, Cantrell reportedly broke into the residence of a woman he knew and stole a laptop, Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt said. Cantrell then pawned the property, he added.

Oswalt said law enforcement is investigating Cantrell's motives and how he learned about explosives. Cantrell reportedly told a Licking Memorial Hospital doctor that he drove into the church because he didn't like religion and he was getting back at the church for taking his money, according to the affidavit for his arrest.

Cantrell remains in jail on a $500,000 bond set by Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins.

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