Student arrested ahead of Falwell funeral

Falwell Funeral
Mark Uhl, 19, had explosives in his car trunk, according to authorities.Campbell County Sheriff's Office via AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Liberty University student arrested after homemade explosive devices were found in the trunk of his car was planning to be among thousands attending the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, Campbell County authorities said.

Mark David Uhl, 19, was arrested Monday night on charges of manufacturing an explosive device, Major Steve Hutcherson said. He said Uhl told a family member he had made bombs and planned to attend the funeral. The family member notified authorities.

Falwell's funeral, held at the massive Thomas Road Baptist Church on the university campus — both of which the evangelical minister founded — drew a small protest from a group that claimed Falwell was a friend of homosexuals, but there were no incidents.

Liberty University students also staged a counterprotest.

Hutcherson says authorities did not know what Uhl's plans were.

In a news release, Sheriff Terry Gaddy said authorities do not believe the explosive devices were going to be used to interrupt the funeral services.

"I do not believe his intent was to harm the Falwells," Gaddy told The News & Advance of Lynchburg.

The sheriff said police were also trying to find three other teenage suspects.

Uhl is being held without bond in the Campbell County Adult Detention Center.