Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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 lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    Davis teen succumbs to head injuries

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

     
    Somewhere, over the rainbow

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1

    More homes for sale in Davis, at higher prices

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Girls sleep safely at Myanmar school, thanks to generous Davisites

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

    Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Driver dies in rural crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Police seek suspect in Woodland robbery spree

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Poppenga files to run for Davis school board

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Parents’ Night Out planned Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Saylor welcomes visitors at ‘office hours’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Summer produce, yummy treats featured at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explore the night sky at Tuleyome Astronomy Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Appeals panel upholds race in admissions for UT Austin

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A3

     
    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A5

    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    Korean teenagers welcome us with open arms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Time to support people with disabilities

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Shame on the Palestinians

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 11 Comments

    Kimble left a swimming legacy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Any treasures at The Cannery?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

    Questions about city revenue

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Not up for full-time caregiving

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Son-in-law has them worried

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    River Cats overpower Chihuahuas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Yolo Post 77 looks to avenge last year’s outcome

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Thompson shines as Republic falls

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Area sports briefs: Heintz returns to UCD

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    MLB roundup: Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Lincoln Highway rolls into Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Acme Theatre to present ‘The Rememberer’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Video highlights walking The Camino

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    ‘Grease’ is the show at WOH

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Winters Fourth Friday Feast celebrates cycling

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7