Dad sentenced to prison after son's homemade bomb exploded in school classroom
GRAND RAPIDS, MI A man was sentenced Wednesday, Oct. 13, to four years in prison after his sons homemade bomb exploded in a Newaygo High School classroom.
David Robert Daniel Saylor Sr.s then-16-year-old son suffered serious injuries and lost both thumbs at the knuckle. Several other students and a teacher suffered less-serious injuries.
Saylor, a father of three, was able to provide for his parents and sisters through hard work, according to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff, who wasn't too impressed when she learned that Sayvon, an unassuming father, worked hard to support his family and sister.
That may well be true, but I dont think it reduces the behavior that led to the explosion in this case. In a classroom. A public-school classroom.
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She stated that Saylor was fortunate that nothing more serious has happened in the course of his hobby of blowing things up.
Saylor, 34, had pleaded guilty in July to charges of possession of an unregistered destructive device, or pipe bomb, and possession a stolen firearm, both 10-year felonies.
Police raided the familys house in Newaygo County's Brooks Township after the school explosion.
According to the plea agreement, Defendant and his son have been researching, developing, and creating explosive mixtures and improvised explosive devices at their home for approximately two years.
RELATED: Dad pleads guilty after teens bomb explodes in classroom in Missouri.
Saylor told investigators that he usually checked his sons backpack before a trip to school, but that didn't happen until March 8, when his younger son brought the explosives to class. Neff said that Sayor told them that his actions were consistent with checking his children s schoolbag before going to bed.
She said it showed the father was aware that his son may bring explosives to school and that they did not safeguard bomb-making materials at their home.
After the hearing, the defendants parents, Jay and Kathy Saylor, stated that their son took the fall to prevent his son from getting into further problems. They said the grandson was to blame.
They hoped their grandson would attend, but he didn't.
His dad didnt do it. Kathy Saylor told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press that her dad was always working.
She tried to get the judges attention at the end of the sentencing hearing, but Neff left the bench. When she asked the U.S. Marshals Service if she could hug her son, she was told no.
She sighed as her handcuffed son was escorted from the courtroom.
Her husband said their son thought he was protecting his son by making a plea.
They added that the grandson was the one with an interest in explosives and could find information on the internet easily.
Federal advisory sentencing guidelines recommended a minimum sentence of 41 to 51 months in prison. Saylor was sentenced to 48 months, or four years, by Neff.
When his prison sentence ends, he must serve two years on supervised release and pay $5,000 in restitution for damage to the high school.
James Scozzari, a defense lawyer, requested remand for fewer years. He claimed his clients son was the one building explosive devices.
The judge responded, So hes dumping this on his son?"
Scozzari acknowledged the fathers negligence in providing the materials and failing to realize what was going on.
But, he added, Saylor didn't want his son to bring explosives to school or harm anyone.
Saylor and his son started their hobby by manipulating fireworks, but it escalated to complete detailed drawings and journals about the making of the devices and making the gadgets at their home, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Pinkston in a sentencing memorandum.
She stated that Saylor would not have had any pipe bombs on or about March 8, 2021, if he hadnt made them with his minor son.
The son, who also suffered burns to his face and hands, told authorities he only wanted to show the explosive device to friends at school when it inadvertently exploded in his hands.
According to the prosecutor, Saylor did not want anyone hurt.
Mr. Saylor does not (and has not) acknowledged the danger he and his son posed to themselves and everyone around them when making and transporting explosive devices and compounds, Pinkston said. [But] Mr.
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