Murder charges in Oregon bank bombing

Bank Bombing
Joshua A. Turnidge was arrested after police released surveilllance photographs.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former Navy serviceman was charged with murder and other crimes after a bomb explosion at a bank that killed two law enforcers and critically injured a third, officials said Monday.

Joshua A. Turnidge, 32, was arrested Sunday after police released surveillance photographs of him, the Marion County district attorney's office said. Officials did not identify him until Monday.

Court officials didn't know Monday whether Turnidge had an attorney. He is to be arraigned Tuesday.

The announcement didn't say what led officers to Turnidge but said it wasn't the "direct result" of a tip from the public. Investigators have not disclosed information about a motive.

Arrested in Salem
Turnidge was arrested in Salem, where he lives, about 20 miles south of Woodburn, where the bomb exploded Friday at a West Coast Bank branch office.

He also faces charges of manufacturing and possession of a dangerous device, assault, and conspiracy, prosecutors said.

The manager of the bank branch found the device Friday after a call about a bomb threat to a nearby Wells Fargo bank turned up a harmless device. The bomb at West Coast was found outside, but officers took it inside, where it exploded. Investigators have said they do not know why the bomb was taken inside.

Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell was still in critical condition Monday at a Portland hospital as a result of the blast, which killed Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant and Oregon State Police Senior Trooper William Hakim, a bomb disposal technician.

Public records show that Turnidge is divorced, served at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois and worked in Salem as a steelworker as recently as December 2006. He has lived in various Oregon communities, as well as in Nevada and Washington state.

Court records show no serious offenses in Oregon, mainly traffic violations such as driving without a seat belt.

His landlord, Randy Jacobsen of Keizer, said he met Turnidge about a month ago and agreed to let him move into the Salem house at a reduced rate in exchange for helping with renovation work.

Once owned a business
Jacobsen said he believed Turnidge was self-employed and once owned a business that involved erecting cell phone towers.

Investigators say cell phones and items that might have been used to make the bomb were bought last month in the central Oregon city of Bend but have not said how phones might have been used in the attack.

"We're still in shock," Jacobsen said. "I don't know if he's guilty or not. If he is, I'd be shocked."

Before becoming Jacobsen's tenant, neighbors said, Turnidge recently lived for about a month in north Salem with a woman and a girl, in a camper trailer at the home of the woman's mother, and hoped to start a business using cooking oil to fuel cars.

Neighbor Ray Daniel said the three kept to themselves and had recently experienced a death in the family.

"It's been a tough year for the family," Daniel said.