Man who left toilet 'bomb' at Towson courthouse acquitted

Defendant said toilet was a statement

  • A suspicious object was left near the Old Court House, Towson.
A suspicious object was left near the Old Court House, Towson. (Photo by Mike Minervini…)
September 15, 2011|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

The Towson "toilet bomb" case came to an end Thursday when a jury found Duane Gerald Davis Sr. not guilty of leaving a phony destructive device in front of a courthouse.

Police charged Davis in February after he left a porcelain toilet decorated with newspaper clippings, an electronic transmitter and a cellphone outside the historic Baltimore County Courthouse about 8 a.m.

The toilet triggered a police reaction that included a bomb-sniffing dog and a small robot. Workers from nearby businesses streamed out to watch as police closed nearby streets, including the 400 block of Washington Avenue, near the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue.

Davis was also acquitted by the judge of making a false statement concerning a destructive device, according to court records. Davis' attorney, Jerome Joyce, said Thursday that the judge told attorneys that the prosecutors did not meet their burden of proof.

According to court records, photos of Davis were attached to the toilet with his address in the 1400 block of Lochner Road in Northeast Baltimore. One note called on officials in Illinois to investigate the death of Davis' son, Gerrell, in 2006.

Davis told The Baltimore Sun in February, "It's not a stunt. It's a statement."

The day of the incident, he wrote on his Facebook page that he left the toilet and also said he deposited "a bedpost" at the Basilica of the Assumption. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore said a wooden post, likewise adorned in newspaper clippings and a cellphone, was placed outside the entrance to the basilica's prayer garden.

At the time, Davis said it was an exercise of his rights to protest and free speech.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

twitter.com/stevekilar

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