Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Blast Outside Chabad House

The blast sent steel encased in concrete through the roof of a nearby home

The suspect accused of detonating a device near the Chabad House in Santa Monica entered a not guilty plea Monday.

An indictment accuses Ron Hirsch, 60, of use of an explosive to damage property, use of an explosive to commit a federal felony, use of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

He was arraigned Monday morning. Hirsch is set to return to court Monday afternoon to work out other details, including legal representation and a trial date.

Earlier this month, a federal grand jury issued the indictment against the 60-year-old Hirsch.  He is accused of detonating the explosive April 7, then fleeing Los Angeles aboard a bus.

He was taken in custody April 11 in Cleveland.

The blast sent a 250-pound piece of concrete-encased steel into the side of the Chabad House. It landed on the roof of a nearby home, leaving a hole in the roof over a girl's bedroom, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

No injuries were reported.


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