Walt pleads guilty in bomb-rigged cabin case
BRECKENRIDGE – A Breckenridge man known for his fur-skin attire and passion for prospecting has pleaded guilty to possession of explosives and was sentenced to two years in prison.David James Walt, known as “Buckskin” and “Buck” in the Breckenridge area, was sentenced March 3. He also got three years of parole on the felony charge.Walt had originally faced much steeper penalties on charges of attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree arson and an additional charge of possession of explosives components.Authorities sought to arrest Walt after his landlord discovered his cabin rigged with homemade bombs.On June 1, the landlord and a helper went to clean out the cabin, located on B&B Mine property off County Road 565.Walt, a miner who used explosive materials in working his claims, had been evicted in December 2002 as B&B prepared to transfer the property to Breckenridge town open space. Walt had allegedly threatened to destroy the cabin should he ever be kicked out.Police called in a Jefferson County bomb squad to defuse a tripwire-triggered shotgun shell in the driveway, a pound of black powder and three tubes of an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil mixture covered in 500 9 millimeter bullets.Walt’s attorney, public defender Dale McPhetres, argued in motions hearings that Walt never intended to hurt anyone. Walt initially pleaded innocent to all charges.The district attorney’s office, which was prepared to use an expert witness from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at trial, agreed to drop the other charges in exchange for Walt’s guilty plea on the possession charge.Walt was arrested after a tip to Summit County Crime Stoppers helped police locate him. He never posted the $50,000 bond set by the court and served 240 days in the Summit County Jail until his sentencing last week.
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