Essex man gets 18 years for planting 2 pipe bombs Trooper's car, officer's home were targets BALTIMORE COUNTY

August 05, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

A Baltimore County judge yesterday brushed aside a white supremacist's proffer that the pipe bombs he planted in a state trooper's car and at a county policeman's home were never intended to hurt anyone, and sentenced the man to 18 years in prison.

"They could have caused death," Judge J. Norris Byrnes said before sentencing Charles Edward Altvader for reckless endangerment and possession of a pipe bomb. The judge initially handed down a 25-year sentence, but suspended seven years of the term and added five years of probation after Altvader, 31, is released.

Although the defendant appeared contrite and sorrowful in court, his lawyer, assistant public defender Rodney C. Warren, said he needs help controlling his "explosive incidents" of anger.

"Literally and figuratively," Judge Byrnes interjected.

Judge Byrnes recommended that Altvader, who heads the Baltimore Church of the Creator and distributed racist literature in Essex on behalf of the church, be treated at the Patuxent Institution.

Altvader, whose mother is rearing his 3-year-old son, has worked in several Essex area pizza shops and once took electronics courses at Essex Community College, his lawyer said. He has been convicted of five other offenses between 1985 and 1989, including destruction of property and possession of a deadly weapon.

Mr. Warren urged Judge Byrnes to sentence Altvader, who pleaded guilty June 2, within the sentencing guidelines of two to eight years. But prosecutor Mickey J. Norman, a former police officer, argued for the maximum -- 25 years -- on the grounds that Altvader's racial attitudes and his bomb-making proclivities make him a very dangerous man.

Mr. Warren said his client planted the pipe bombs in retaliation for police towing his car.

On Nov. 5, 1992, officers warned Altvader at 1:30 a.m. against driving with a flat tire, but he did and slid into a ditch. Officers towed his car, despite his vehement protests. About 3 a.m., he started calling 911 to complain and was thrown out of the Essex precinct a half hour later. At 5:30 a.m., according to a statement of facts, a bomb blew out the windshield of a trooper's cruiser parked on South Marlyn Avenue, and at 5:42 a.m., another blast damaged the door and front porch of a county officer's home.

Altvader was arrested by county police and federal agents, who raided his house in the 1400 block of Strawflower Court, and a

girlfriend's on Valley Arbor Court.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.