Oregon ‘prepper’ convicted for pipe bombs

COOS BAY, Ore. — A Coos Bay man who told police he was a “prepper” and built a survivalist bunker and armory beneath his house has been found guilty of charges that included possession of a short-barreled rifle and pipe bombs.

Officers testified they’d been called to the house in June because Jay Yarbrough had reacted violently when his wife tried to get him to go to the hospital to deal with chest pain, The World newspaper reported Wednesday.

She said he fired a shot from an AR-15 rifle at the ceiling, pushed her to the ground and kicked her in the head.

“He said if he was going to die he’d rather die at home where he could be at peace,” his daughter, Hailey, testified.

When April Yarbrough showed officers a crawlspace under the master bedroom, they squeezed through a small opening into a space that stretched under several rooms and soon saw pipe bombs on a table.

They took photos and quickly backed out to call the State Police bomb squad, which set up a sandbag enclosure in a nearby parking lot where it took the devices.

Bomb technician Greg Costanzo testified the devices were made of large CO2 canisters filled with gunpowder.

Troopers said one of the three live devices exploded when they fired at it with a specialized shotgun, and the blast spread shrapnel across the lot.

Officers testified they also found firearms including a rifle with a barrel about 8 inches long that should have been registered with federal authorities, ammunition, gunpowder and hand grenade components.

Officer Scott Rogers said that Yarbrough said in a post-arrest interview he is a “prepper” who built the bunker and obtained the weapons to protect his family. April Yarbrough said it took her husband eight months to dig out the bunker.

Jay Yarbrough didn’t testify at the trial Tuesday and was briefly seen wiping away tears.

Judge Richard Barron, who heard the case, found Yarbrough guilty and set sentencing for Dec. 12.

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Information from: The World, http://www.theworldlink.com

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