WOODLAND (CBS13) — A chemistry researcher at UC Davis who was injured in an explosion at his campus apartment last week faces 10 charges related to possessing firearms and explosives.
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office did not say whether 32-year-old David Snyder intended to harm anyone with the items found in his apartment but did allege that he had multiple explosive devices ready to go, posing a big risk to the community. He was arrested after a 1 a.m. blast Jan. 17.
Snyder was officially charged Thursday with two felony counts of possessing firearms in his apartment without the university’s permission, three counts of possessing a destructive device or explosive, four alleging he recklessly disposed of hazardous waste, and a final charge that he possessed materials with the intent to make a destructive device.
The prosecution on Thursday also said Snyder had someone, a non-faculty member, help him dispose of materials.
Snyder’s lead defense attorney, Linda Parisi, said her client had the materials for research.
“What happened in Dr. Snyder’s apartment was an accident. He harbored no intent to build or detonate an explosive device,” she said. “He is a chemist working on a variety of projects.”
Defense attorney Jessica Graves requested a bail reduction, but the DA’s office argued that Snyder is a flight risk because he has family in Texas and bail shouldn’t be reduced because of the nature of the crimes.
The judge will revisit Snyder’s $2 million bail during his next scheduled court date Feb. 8.
“I’m hopeful that bail will be set at a more reasonable level,” Parisi said by telephone. “He’s not a flight risk, he’s not criminally oriented, he has no prior record.”
Snyder has a doctorate in chemistry from the university. University spokeswoman Claudia Morain said he was involved in a chemistry department project “focused on small molecule synthetic organic chemistry.” She could not say if chemicals used in that research were dangerous or explosive.
The laboratory is working to develop materials that could be used to treat polycystic kidney disease, which causes the kidneys to become enlarged with cysts in about one of every 1,000 people. Snyder also was helping to develop compounds to treat secretory diarrhea, which affects millions of people mainly in developing countries, Morain said.
He is on investigatory leave from the university.
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