FIT Student Charged for Building Explosive Device in Dorm


A MythBusters-inspired experiment gone wrong has landed a Florida Institute of Technology student in the Brevard County Jail. He is now facing two felonies. First, he is charged with possessing a destructive device on school property. He also faces charges of making, possessing, placing and discharging a destructive device. The incident occurred on Nov. 25 at about 12:20 a.m. when reports of a loud explosion were made on the Florida Tech campus. Florida Tech is cooperating with authorities and currently has no comment on the incident. The school is referring all questions to the Melbourne Police Department.

The 19-year-old student created an explosive device using household chemicals mixed in a plastic bottle. He placed the bottle in the stairwell of his dorm and the resulting build up of heat from the chemical reaction caused the bottle to explode. There was no damage and no one in the building was injured. The student has retained criminal defense and his bond stands at $10,000. He is also banned from returning to the FIT campus while he is out on bail.

Duke’s attorney agrees that the felony charges are a serious matter, but argues that Duke’s actions had no malicious intent and referred to the incident as “innocuous teenage experimentation.”

An attorney with specific experience in criminal defense can help people who are facing felony charges. The court system is complicated; especially for first-time offenders and their families. An experienced criminal attorney can be helpful in navigating the unfamiliar territory of the criminal courts.

Source: Florida Today, “FIT student held on 10K bond after ‘Mythbusters’-inspired explosion,” Stacey Barchenger, Nov. 26, 2012

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