Hetty Chang, Beth Slepp-Paz
The man police describe as being "curious" about making bombs and whose apartment search displaced Culver City-area residents for hours Wednesday pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges. Prosecutors say Robert Colt Wilson, 29, had a "bomb factory" in his apartment, with more than a dozen explosives, a gun and drugs also found in a search. Hetty Chang reports from Del Aire for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 16, 2013.
The man police describe as an individual "curious" about making bombs pleaded not guilty to the felony charges against him Thursday.
Robert Colt Wilson, 29, was charged with seven felony counts after authorities found more than a dozen homemade explosive devices in his Palms apartment on Wednesday following a traffic stop late the previous night.
During an arraignment hearing at the Airport Courthouse, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney asked the judge to set Wilson's bail at $2.5 million.
The judge granted that request after hearing Carney describe Wilson's apartment as a "bomb factory."
"In his car, a destructive device that was coupled with container of gasoline and motor oil," Carney said."In his apartment, he possessed a large quantity of explosive materials. The bomb technicians who handled the rendered safe procedures at the house described it to me as a 'bomb factory'."
NBC4 returned to Wilson's apartment building at 3848 Overland Avenue -- which was evacuated Thursday, as were several other buildings in the surrounding area -- and talked with a neighbor who shares a balcony with Wilson.
"I never heard him doing anything, normal things you would hear in apartments, water running, music, maybe a TV," said Colin Waring, who served in the U.S. Navy for four years and said he was very familiar with sounds associated with explosive devices. "I never heard anything out of the ordinary like someone repairing something like machinery."
Wilson's apartment manager, Mark Friedand, described Wilson as the best kind of tenant because he always paid rent on-time and he never heard from him.
Wilson attended Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, according to a close friend who wished to remain anonymous.
He is charged with possession of a destructive device on a public street, possession of a destructive device at a private habitat, possession of the ingredients to make a destructive device, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, carrying an unregistered loaded handgun and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
If convicted, Wilson faces up to nine years, four months in state prison.