HURRICANE – An empty threat, reporting a bomb at the Hurricane Justice Court early Monday morning, landed a LaVerkin man in jail later that same day.
The St. George Communications Center, which dispatches for the county, received a bomb threat call from 26-year-old David Carl McMurdie, of LaVerkin, at approximately 7:30 a.m..
“Dispatch advised David McMurdie was on the telephone and stated he wanted to kill the judge,” according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in support of the arrest. “David told dispatch he put a bomb at the Hurricane Justice Court.”
Officers are familiar with McMurdie from multiple previous dealings, the statement said, and have known him to be violent in the past.
“We’ve obviously had a history and a past with him,” LaVerkin City Police Chief Ben Lee said. “There’s speculation that he has some mental illnesses.”
McMurdie told the dispatcher he wanted to meet with an officer at Farmer’s Market located at 495 N. State Street in LaVerkin. Lee said that’s where the incident began.
According to Lee, McMurdie is restricted from Farmer’s Market and knows if he goes over there, he will be arrested for trespass. Nonetheless, McMurdie went to the market and talked to the general manager of the store, telling him he had a bomb. The manager became concerned and contacted police.
McMurdie then made threats on the phone to dispatch, Lee said, telling them he had a bomb, he placed it over at the courthouse and he was going to kill the judge over in Hurricane. McMurdie then told dispatch he wanted to meet with officers at the LaVerkin Farmer’s Market.
When officers arrived at the market, they saw McMurdie at the service desk inside the store, the statement said, and told him they were going to detain him and place him in handcuffs for their safety and his.
“David and I walked outside and he began telling me he has been in prison for terroristic threats,” an officer wrote in the statement of probable cause. “Several times he stated he wants to kill the judge. He stated he got a charge in the judge’s court for lewdness for showing his genitals to the camera.”
According to the statement, McMurdie told authorities he walked to the Hurricane Justice Court around midnight and buried a bomb by the back door of the courthouse.
The statement went on to say:
He stated he took 30 bullets and emptied the gun powder into a bottle and placed a rag inside. He stated the bomb was going to go off at 3:00 today. (McMurdie) said he used to shovel to bury the bomb. He stated it was approximately 4 feet in the ground. (McMurdie) stated he learned how to make the bomb on t.v. (McMurdie) then stated again that he wanted to kill the judge.
“(McMurdie) stated several times he just wants to go back to prison,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and Hurricane City Police officers responded to the courthouse and were unable to find any suspicious devices, Lee said.
“(Authorities) didn’t find any evidence of what Mr. McMurdie was talking about with response to any kind of homemade bombs or devices or anything like that, that would cause alarm ….,” Lee said. “They did their investigation on where Mr. McMurdie had claimed to have placed the bomb and didn’t find any evidence or anything that looked suspicious over at that facility.”
Because the call threatening the detonation of a bomb was made so early in the morning, Lee said, the courthouse was not yet open for the day and no evacuations of the building had to be made.
McMurdie was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was charged with a second-degree felony for threat of terrorism, a third-degree felony for threat against a judge, and a class B misdemeanor for trespassing at Farmer’s Market.
This is not McMurdie’s first run-in with the law. He faced similar charges just last year.
McMurdie was convicted of threat of violence and criminal trespass charges stemming from a July 2014 incident, according to Utah court documents. He is currently facing threat of violence and criminal trespass charges from another incident that occurred in December 2014, as well as aggravated assault, interfering with an arrest and disorderly conduct charges from a September 2014 incident where he allegedly hit a 65-year-old man in the back of the head with a fist sized rock while the man was walking his dog.
According to court documents, McMurdie was also convicted of assault by prisoner in 2007, attempted threat against life or property in 2008, and attempted assault by prisoner in 2011, all third-degree felony charges.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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