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Accused Medford bomb-maker pleads guilty to 21 counts

Brian Lighthill was sentenced to five years in state prison after police say that he built dozens of explosives and detonated some of them around Jackson County.

Posted: Jun 4, 2021 3:56 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2021 3:58 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — A Medford man was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 21 counts related to building or possessing explosive devices.

The investigation began in early 2021 after police received multiple reports of explosions around Jackson County. On January 22, a witness brought several devices to the Medford Police Department that were later found to be "live explosives," according to the Jackson County District Attorney's office.

MPD worked with the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit on the investigation, eventually identifying 23-year-old Brian Lighthill as a potential suspect. Surveillance video from homes near some of the explosions also showed that two vehicles were in the area on each occasion. The DA's office said that both vehicles were eventually linked to Lighthill.

On March 18, MPD and OSP served a search warrant on Lighthill's home, finding 23 completed explosive devices that were later diffused by OSP. Investigators also found chemicals for making homemade flash powder, fuses, grenade bodies, and other items for making explosives.

The DA's office said that Lighthill admitted to building the devices, but he said that he never intended to hurt anyone.

This week, Lighthill pleaded guilty on 12 counts of Unlawful Manufacture of a Destructive Device and nine counts of Unlawful Possession of a Destructive Device. On Friday, Judge Timothy Barnack sentenced Lighthill to 60 months in prison with three years of post-prison supervision.

Lighthill also pleaded guilty in a separate case for Unlawful Delivery of Heroin, but his 24-month sentence will run concurrent with the bomb-making sentence.

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