Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Snyder faces additional felony counts

David Snyder, a UC Davis researcher, is led into court by bailiffs for his arraignment on felony bomb and weapons charges. Snyder's bandaged left hand was injured in an explosion at his Russell Park apartment on the UCD campus. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

By
From page A1 | February 10, 2013 |

WOODLAND — A bail hearing Friday for UC Davis chemistry researcher David Scott Snyder offered a glimpse of some of the explosive-making materials authorities allegedly seized from his campus apartment and various dump sites around Davis last month.

Reading from a declaration prepared by police and signed by a fellow judge to boost Snyder’s bail to $2 million, Yolo Superior Court Judge David Reed detailed a list that included nitroglycerin, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and “unstable” RDX, a highly powerful explosive used in military operations.

Deputy District Attorney Martha Holzapfel also said the 32-year-old Snyder asked a friend to remove incriminating evidence from his Russell Park apartment before police arrived there on the morning of Jan 17, and that he had been reprimanded in the past about creating explosives in a campus lab.

“This is a hobby, and he likes to blow things up. … He’s not going to be able to stop it just because you told him ‘no,’ ” the prosecutor told Reed, who, citing the risk Snyder posed to himself, his neighbors and other segments of the Davis community, denied defense attorney Linda Parisi’s request to reduce bail to $500,000.

Reed also granted the filing of an amended criminal complaint that now charges Snyder with 17 felonies, including four counts of reckless disposal of hazardous waste, two counts of possession of a destructive device or explosive, four counts of possession of materials with intent to make a destructive device, and seven counts of possessing a firearm on university grounds.

Snyder, his left hand still bandaged from an explosion-induced injury he suffered in his apartment, was ordered back to court on March 14 for a pre-hearing conference. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Earlier, Parisi had suggested that the suspicion surrounding Snyder and the items found inside his apartment — including the various explosive-making materials and seven firearms — may be overblown. She described Snyder, who earned both a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in chemistry from UCD, as a “hard-working person” with no criminal record or animosity toward the university.

“He was the kind of chemist that was always tinkering and experimenting with things,” Parisi said. She added that while most of Snyder’s family resides in Texas and Colorado, he poses no flight risk and would promise to stay away from chemicals and laboratories while his court case is pending.

The guns, she later said outside court, were “antiques” and reflected Snyder’s family’s long-standing interest in marksmanship.

Parisi also told Reed that Snyder provided authorities with the combination to a safe that held some of the firearms, but Holzapfel countered that that was the extent of his cooperation. Along with the weapons, she added, police recovered “multiple boxes of ammunition.”

While Parisi expressed disappointment in Reed’s ruling after the hearing, Holzapfel referred reporters’ questions to Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Cabral, who took issue with Parisi’s portrayal of Snyder as a mere tinkerer.

“Even if he’s just tinkering with these chemicals, he’s tinkering with them in an apartment building in a residential neighborhood,” Cabral said. Asked about the quantities police allegedly found, he said that information is expected to be revealed during Snyder’s preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to go to trial.

However, he did say that one of the explosives detonated while authorities were in the process of removing it from Snyder’s apartment, but that no one was injured.

Investigation continues

Cabral said authorities are continuing to investigate the role of the accomplice who is reported to have disposed of evidence from Snyder’s apartment at several locations about town — one at Russell Park and two at other apartment complexes in the Davis city limits. He declined to elaborate on any past warnings Snyder received.

But according to the Feb. 1 issue of Friday Update, a weekly online newsletter sent to faculty and staff at UCD, campus administrators received a complaint about Snyder back in 2011, the same year he earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the university.

According to the newsletter, “campus administrators received a complaint that two years earlier, shortly before July 4, 2009, Snyder and a classmate allegedly had been seen making what were determined to be small firecrackers in a chemistry department lab. The complaint was handled through appropriate campus review processes and closed.”

Snyder’s next brush with trouble came at about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, when he sought treatment at Sutter Davis Hospital for a hand injury and told medical staff the wound stemmed from small explosion inside his apartment. The hospital then alerted police.

Officers responded to the residence, but immediately retreated and evacuated Snyder’s immediate neighbors until an explosives removal team could be assembled and a search warrant obtained. Four additional buildings and a nearby day-care center were evacuated during what turned out to be a 20-hour removal process.

At the time of his arrest on Jan. 19, Snyder, who also holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UCD, had been at the tail end of a two-month junior specialist research position that was to end on Jan. 31. Previously placed on leave from that post, Snyder no longer has any affiliation with UCD, “other than being an alum,” campus spokeswoman Claudia Morain said Friday.

Responding to a request from The Enterprise, Morain also disclosed that the cleanup operation at Snyder’s apartment cost the university $23,000, the majority of it overtime incurred by police officers and firefighters who responded to the scene.

“It does not include costs for outside vendors who may have assisted in the disposal of the chemicals or the follow-up soil testing,” Morain said in an email, referring to the destruction of some volatile materials in a field near the Russell Park complex.

Bomb technicians also detonated some of the materials seized from Snyder’s lab in UCD’s Chemistry Annex building on Jan. 24. Cabral previously said some of the items found in Snyder’s apartment came from the university.

Also not included in the $23,000 figure is the cost of providing food vouchers and hotel accommodations to some of the 75 Russell Park residents, including families with young children, who were displaced during the removal and disposal process, Morain said.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5