Photo: Michael Cody Everett
A Clarkridge man accused of making and exploding homemade pipe bombs at his residence appeared in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.
Thirty-six-year-old Michael Everett was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center July 17 last year and charged with criminal possession of explosive material, criminal use of prohibited weapons (bombs), three counts of possession of firearms by a felon, possessing drug paraphernalia and three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.
He is also charged with firing a gun out of his SUV in early April last year reportedly to express his displeasure at the speed the vehicle in front of him was traveling. Everett’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mark Cooper, said a plea offer had been made in that case. Circuit Judge John Putman ordered Everett to reappear Feb. 11 “if a plea is to be taken.”
At some point, Everett is also expected to face federal charges.
He has entered a not guilty plea to all of his state charges.
Everett is an inmate in the county jail with bond set at $75,000.
According to a press release issued earlier by the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, the incident leading to Everett’s arrest on the bomb charges began July 11 last year when a call was received reporting a possible drug overdose.
As a deputy was driving to the scene located along County Road 1419 in the Clarkridge area, two women in a white vehicle met him. One of the women was described as “frantically” waving at him.
The deputy was told the other woman in the car had suffered burns on her hands and face, when black powder Everett had been “messing with” exploded.
The deputy said the victim had injuries consistent with being burned on her hands and face.
The woman said she was being taken to the hospital, and that Everett was unresponsive on the floor in the residence.
When the deputy went into the home, he found Everett on the living room floor unconscious but still breathing.
Emergency medical personnel arrived and transported him to Baxter Regional Medical Center.
According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy made an initial sweep through the residence to make sure no one else was present.
During the sweep, he observed drug paraphernalia, as well as three firearms, two of which had been sawed-off to an illegal length.
All of the weapons were loaded.
As a convicted felon, Everett is prohibited from being around firearms.
At one point, a neighbor approached the deputy and told him three minor children — ages 14, 10 and 5 years old — had been present in the residence but had been taken to safety at the neighbor’s home.
It was reported one of the young people had said Everett had been taking a lot of medication and was having “anxiety problems.”
A relative arrived and took the children back to their permanent residence in Mountain Home. The victim reported she is married to Everett, but does not live in the house with him.
Additional personnel from the sheriff’s office arrived and began to check the scene.
They found a long metal tube with a missing end cap on the outside of the house, just beyond the front steps.
The instrument was identified by an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as a homemade pipe bomb.
The Bentonville Police Department sent its bomb disposal unit to assist with the materials found at the residence.
When a search warrant was served on the property, investigators found a safe in the master bedroom adjacent to where the three weapons had been located.
In the safe, they found a black leather wallet containing Everett’s driver’s license, Social Security and credit cards.
Also located in the safe were a plastic bag containing an explosive material, timed fuses and a timed fuse-blasting cap.
In the living room, investigators recovered a bottle of Pyrodex described as a substitute for black powder in the storage compartment of a coffee table.
More of the material was found in the rear of the residence.
In checking the outside of the manufactured home, a large hole was found in the wall near the master bedroom window.
Laying on the ground just below the hole was what appeared to be an exploded pipe bomb.
They also found drug paraphernalia, including digital scales, seven smoking pipes and four syringes — commonly used to ingest controlled substances.
The female victim was flown to a Little Rock hospital and treated for third-degree burns to her face, neck, both arms and both legs.
On July 13 last year, the victim came to the Criminal Investigation Division of the sheriff’s office and was interviewed by an ATF agent and criminal investigators with the local law enforcement agency.
Her 14-year-old son accompanied her.
She said she lived with the children at her mother’s residence in Mountain Home.
The 14-year-old told investigators Everett had been taking a large quantity of medications on the day of the explosion even boiling a time-release medicine Everett said was Xanax and drinking the water to “get more of an effect from it.”
At one point, the victim had gone to the neighbor’s home but was called back by her teenage son, because Everett had spilled gunpowder all over the living room floor and was having medical problems.
The teen said when Everett poured the gunpowder onto the living room floor, he asked him what he was doing and was told, “that he was going to kill everyone, that the kids were not his anyway.”
The 14-year-old said at that point, he removed the other children and took them to the neighbors to keep them safe.
He reported being on the phone with his mother who was at Everett’s residence at that point, when he heard an explosion. He said he heard Everett say something to the effect that “you got what you deserved.
Prior to the blast, the victim said when she came to Everett’s home from the neighbor’s residence at her son’s request, she found Everett somewhat “out of it.”
She said, however, she offered him a cigarette to smoke while she called an ambulance. He accepted and lit the cigarette, according to the victim.
She said she swept the gunpowder off the floor and put it outside in a container and then turned her attention to gunpowder adjacent to the outside front steps. The victim said as she was bending down with her back to the front door, the powder exploded.
In a conversation with Everett some time after the incident, he told the victim he had thrown his cigarette in the powder to “scare you.”
In his statement to investigators, Everett would not confirm or deny throwing a cigarette into the powder causing the explosion that injured his estranged wife.
The victim told investigators she had seen about 20 pipe bombs Everett has made in the past. She said most were small, however, recently, he had graduated to larger ones.
The bombs were often used to blow up various discarded appliances and other items around the property.
She said she had contacted Everett several days after the incident to see if he had gotten out of the hospital.
He is reported to have told her he had been discharged, and that they needed to meet to get “their stories straight.”
The victim said when she told Everett she wanted nothing to do with him, he warned, “You better watch your back.”
She said she believed Everett had people out looking for her and that “he’ll finish the job if he can.”
The deputy said the victim was urged to seek an order of protection to try and keep Everett away from her.
In his statement to investigators, Everett is alleged to have admitted having guns in his residence. He denied cutting barrels on the weapons down to illegal lengths.
He said he had had possession of the explosive material for months.
Everett said he had built the bomb found at the front entrance to the residence and provided details as to its construction.
He said because of his medication, he was “fuzzy” on many details concerning events leading up to the explosion.
He said his dog had “messed” with the wiring of the device, and he had brought it into the living room to repair it, since that is where his tools were. Everett admitted unscrewing the cap and dumping the powder from the device on the floor.
Everett said he remembered smoking, as well as his wife.
He said one reason he built the bombs is because his kids enjoyed it when he threw them in the woods, and they exploded.
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