Court: Suspects spent 15 years plotting Woodburn bank bombing

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by By KYLE IBOSHI, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on February 26, 2009 at 5:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 17 at 9:39 AM

Woodburn bank bombing

WOODBURN, Ore. -- Court records obtained by KGW suggest the two Oregon men charged in connection with a deadly bank bombing in December often talked about robbing a bank and even practiced a dry-run in Woodburn in 1994.

Bruce Turnidge and his son Joshua Turnidge are facing aggravated murder charges for the December 12th blast that killed a police officer, a state trooper and critically injured a police chief.

According to a police affidavit, a family friend, Ronald Laughlin, stated that he heard Bruce, Joshua and another family member who has not been charged in the case "speak so often about robbing banks that it became like 'white noise'. Often, Laughlin said, they'd "discuss methods of robbery including diversions."

Laughlin described the men as Constitutionalists and anti-government.

Background

According to investigators, in the summer of 1994, Laughlin recalled meeting Joshua and Bruce Turnidge for lunch in Woodburn.

According to the witness, Joshua Turnidge said "he had called the bank and told them there was a bomb and they were to deliver $20,000 to $40,000 to a construction Port-a-potty." Laughlin said he watched police arrive at the bank.

The court papers also indicate Joshua Turnidge was in financial trouble. His girlfriend told investigators, "he is overdrawn by a couple of hundred dollars they have no money and were about to lose everything."

Investigators previously stated they've connected Joshua Turnidge to the bombing through surveillance video and cell phone records.

Newly released court papers indicate, investigators found materials used to build the bomb on Bruce Turnidge's rural property south of Salem.

Investigators claim they recovered matching metal, identical wiring and "empty tubes of DuPont Emulsion... a replacement for dynamite."

The records describe Bruce Turnidge as acting suspicious shortly after the deadly bombing.

Joshua Turnidge's defense lawyer said it would be inappropriate to discuss the facts of the case at this time.

Bruce Turnidge's defense attorney did not return a call for comment.

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