A federal grand jury in California on Wednesday returned a four-count indictment against a man previously charged in connection with a bombing of an Aliso Viejo spa that killed his ex-girlfriend, prosecutors announced.
Stephen William Beal, 59, of Long Beach, is charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death; malicious destruction of a building resulting in death; use of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence; and possession of an unregistered destructive device, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a statement.
Beal was arrested earlier this month in the May 15, 2018, blast at the Magyar Kozmetica spa, which killed his ex-girlfriend, Ildiko Krajnyak, 48, and seriously injured two other people.
Beal is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned March 25, the prosecutor's office said.
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Two of the charges carry the possibility of a life sentence without parole, federal prosecutors said.
An email to a federal public defender listed in court records as representing Beal was not immediately returned late Wednesday afternoon.
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Nicola T. Hanna called the blast "a horrific and intentional attack."
An FBI affidavit dated March 1 says Beal told investigators that Krajnyak revealed to him that she was seeing another man during a trip to Portugal in early 2018.
He "stated he was hurt and betrayed when Krajnyak told him this,” according to the complaint, but he denied being involved in the bombing, according to the complaint.
Beal was initially arrested and charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device after federal investigators searched his home days after the explosion.
During the search, approximately 130 pounds of explosive-related materials, including electric matches and wire, were said to be discovered. Beal said they were supplies for constructing model rockets.
Initial charges against him were dropped shortly after the FBI said it had questions about whether material in the house met the legal definition of a "destructive device."
Aliso Viejo is a city of 47,000 residents in Orange County, south of Los Angeles.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
Andrew Blankstein is an investigative reporter for NBC News. He covers the Western United States, specializing in crime, courts and homeland security.