Man accused of setting small explosion near NAACP office in Colorado pleads guilty to arson

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A man accused of setting off a small explosion near the NAACP office in Colorado Springs pleaded guilty Monday to arson and other charges under a plea deal with prosecutors.

Thaddeus Murphy, 44, appeared in federal court in Denver after his lawyer notified the court of the deal in June.

The (Colorado Springs) Gazette ( ) reported the plea, though all the terms weren't immediately available.

Murphy previously pleaded not guilty to arson and possessing a firearm as a felon.

The Jan. 6 blast drew attention because of its proximity to an office of the nation's oldest civil rights organization.

Murphy told investigators he had money problems and was actually targeting his accountant.

It was unclear if Murphy knew if his accountant had died the previous June or if the accountant ever had an office in the building.

The low-slung office building, which also houses a barber shop, has a sign for an accountant's business, but it reportedly had been closed for years.

Murphy told authorities that he made the crude pipe bomb in his garage and set it off against the building because he was angry that his accountant did not return his calls or give him back his tax records.

The explosive caused minor damage after failing to ignite a gas canister placed next to it.

Prosecutors said Murphy had a history of mental illness, including anxiety and depression.

Before the plea deal, Murphy had faced a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison and as much as $500,000 in fines.


Information from: The Gazette,