Father of Oregon bank bombing suspect also charged

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The investigation into a bombing that killed two Oregon law enforcement officers at a small-town bank has narrowed to a father-son tandem.

Two days after police arrested Joshua Turnidge, officers went to a farm in the rural community of Jefferson and took the man's father, 57-year-old Bruce Turnidge, into custody. Officers were soon walking shoulder-to-shoulder in the farm's fields, looking for evidence.

Officials have yet to describe what specific actions the father allegedly carried out in Friday's bombing of a Woodburn bank, but said late Tuesday his role wasn't minor.

"There was sufficient evidence for him to be charged with all the same offenses as his son," said Courtland Geyer, the deputy district attorney in Marion County. Those charges include murder, attempted murder, assault and the manufacture and possession of a destructive device.

Geyer declined to reveal what authorities believe is the alleged motive for the crime. Documents released Tuesday as part of Joshua Turnidge's arraignment described what happened, but not why.

Joshua Turnidge, 32, did not enter a plea Tuesday and showed little emotion when hearing the charges that carry a potential death penalty.

"My client is clear-headed," said Turnidge's court-appointed attorney, Steven Krasik of Salem. "He was surprised to be arrested. And he is optimistic that he will be cleared of all these charges."

The blast killed a State Police bomb technician, Senior Trooper William Hakim, and a Woodburn officer, Capt. Tom Tennant. It critically injured Woodburn Police Chief Scott Russell; a probable cause statement said Russell lost his right leg from the knee down and his left leg was mutilated.

Authorities said that on Friday morning, a man called in a bomb threat to the Wells Fargo Bank in Woodburn, which is next door to the West Coast Bank branch. The voice warned those inside they would die if they didn't leave the building.

The man also said that a cell phone would be found next to a garbage can, and that he would give further instructions on it. The man also said he would be calling the West Coast Bank.

Police officers arrived at the Wells Fargo building, opened a garbage bin and spotted a cell phone on top of what appeared to be a package. Hakim and an FBI bomb technician were called. They examined the package and cell phone and determined the package was a hoax device.

Woodburn police searched the area around the two banks for other devices, and a green metal box was spotted next to the West Coast Bank building.

Hakim, Tennant and Russell arrived at the West Coast Bank. After Hakim inspected and X-rayed the green box, he said he was "confident that it was a hoax device and that it could be taken apart to be placed into evidence."

The statement said a bank employee saw Hakim trying to open the box while Tennant held it when the bomb exploded. The bank employee was treated at a hospital and released.

The father-and-son duo have a record of traffic and vehicle law violations, but no record of serious offenses in Oregon. The elder Turnidge is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning.

© 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.