N.C. Bomber Says He Aimed for Beaver Dam, Not Ex

A man who pleaded guilty to lobbing a homemade bomb at his girlfriend said he was actually aiming for a beaver dam. In the end, he was the only person injured, and he now faces 10 months in prison as well.

Otis Cecil Wilkins, 45, pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to 300 days in jail. He had been charged with attempted first-degree murder.

According to sheriff's deputies, Wilkins had threatened the ex-girlfriend, then threw the bottle bomb at her car as she drove into her yard in Rougemont, N.C., about 30 miles north of Raleigh, N.C. Witnesses said the bomb exploded in "a large fireball," and then rolled back toward Wilkins, igniting his shorts.

Public Defender Lawrence Campbell said Wilkins' target was a beaver dam that blocked a waterway, and that the bomb was ignited by ash from his cigarette that fell onto the fuse.

Wilkins spent more than a week at a hospital burn center.

"I ain't no terrorist," he was quoted as saying in a law enforcement report from the incident last year. "It was just a little bit of black powder. It was just a little boom thing."

Wilkins pleaded guilty to three assault counts, one for his ex-girlfriend and two for other people nearby, including the woman's 3-year-old granddaughter. Prosecutor Mitchell Garrell said he pursued a plea-bargain because the ex-girlfriend was uncooperative.