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Police: Wheeler Duo Threw Explosives

Two juniors are charged in South Carolina with detonating three homemade chemical bombs on a road trip to watch football.

Updated 4:30 p.m.

Joshua Denning and Evan Wallace of East Cobb have admitted using two bottle bombs about nine hours apart at one house in Clover, SC, and another bomb ourside a nearby house just outside the city in unincorporated York County, according to the incident reports from the Clover Police Department and the York Sheriff's Office.

Clover resident William Hearsey told police that he heard an explosion in his yard about 12:30 a.m. Sunday but couldn't tell what it was, according to the Clover police report.

About 10 that morning, Hearsey saw a white Buick Enclave pull in front of his house, and a bottle was thrown from the vehicle. He picked up the bottle from his yard and was walking back to his house, according to the report, "when he realized that there was some kind of reaction taking place inside the bottle."

He threw the bottle into the driveway, where it exploded, promting him to call police.

Officers passed a white Enclave as they arrived in the neighborhood and soon pulled over the vehicle with Denning and Wallace inside, the report says.

Wallace had two packages of synthetic marijuana in a pants pocket, police reported. Officers also found a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana during a search of the vehicle.

Also in the vehicle were empty bottles, aluminum foil and The Works cleaner, which Denning and Wallace admitted using to make the bottle bombs, the police report says.

The two 17-year-olds told police they were visiting friends and family in the area over the weekend.

They each are charged with two counts of use and possession of a destructive device in the city of Clover and one count of the same charge in the incident outside the city at the empty house. Each count is a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, the Clover police said.

Wallace also faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Updated 3:30 p.m.

The bonds on the two Wheeler juniors have tripled, according to the York County Sheriff's Office jail records.

Originally held on $5,000 each, Joshua Denning and Evan Wallace now have bonds of $15,000 and $16,500, respectively, although the charges remain the same.

The two are suspected of making several homemade chemical bombs and throwing them into two yards in the Clover area, the Rock Hill Herald said. No property damage and no injuries were reported.

The case report from the York Sheriff's Office says Clover police arrested the pair for an incident at one house, then learned that they had set off another device outside another house whose residents were away.

"Both Wallace and Denning advised me they both were together when (they) threw the device," reads the report, filed by Sgt. Shawn Thomasson.

He added that the forensic unit recovered pieces of the explosive device outside the second home. The forensic unit also recovered bomb pieces at the first house.

Using an HCB is a felony and carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, the Herald said.

HCBs are easily made from everyday home materials with plentiful instructions online and are known as "MacGyver bombs, bottle bombs, the works' bomb or acid bombs," according to a 2006 article in the Mitigation Journal.

A status update from Denning on his Facebook wall says he went to South Carolina over the weekend to attend the University of South Carolina's home football game against Florida in Columbia. South Carolina won, 17-12.

Original Report

Two athletes were arrested in South Carolina on Sunday and charged with throwing explosives at an empty house.

Joshua Denning and Evan Wallace, both 17-year-old juniors who live in East Cobb, are being held in the York County’s Moss Justice Center on $5,000 bond.

The two are accused of throwing an explosive device at a house in Clover around 1 a.m. Sunday and causing undisclosed damage, the Rock Hill Herald reported.

York County Sheriff’s Office jail records show that the two were booked around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Denning is charged with three counts of causing an explosion that damages a building or persons.

Wallace faces the same three counts plus a drug possession charge.

The family who lives in that house was out of town, the Herald said, and no one was hurt.

Wheeler’s online tennis roster from last spring shows that Denning was on the team, which had the best season ever for the Wildcats, reaching the Sweet 16 in the state playoffs.

Wheeler’s online baseball roster shows that Wallace is a junior varsity infielder. He also pitched for his Sandy Plains Baseball 17-and-under travel team this summer.

johnsmith November 15, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Oh bless your heart
Jane November 15, 2011 at 05:32 AM
thanks :)
Dmitri Stewart November 15, 2011 at 05:40 AM
Deleting all my comments, seriously tired of arguing with people who i don't know, and they dont know Josh or Evan, i wish best of luck to both of them and im sure ill see both of them soon! All of you can say whatever, the judge is going to decide what happens not you! best of luck!
Casey November 15, 2011 at 05:42 AM
good arguments, but you, yourself are not a bomb. lol
Joseph November 15, 2011 at 05:43 AM
I can't believe people would even consider 4 years. I think a day would pretty much set them straight. Imagine being in their shoes. At that age being locked in a jail cell will make you realign your morals. I think it's fine to scare them at first, but pursuing anything more is absolutely crazy. We have real druggies and real terrorists in the world to worry about. Not two 17 year old kids.
Joseph November 15, 2011 at 05:58 AM
The entire goal of prison is a correctional institute. Putting them in for a year or more will make them miss some of the most important years to set up the rest of their life. What could they go to when they got out? Crime is likely because their lives would already so messed up. It would be going against the entire purpose of correctional institutions. Putting them in for a few days would scare them, set and example to the public that this won't be tolerated, and not destroy their lives. It just seems like the most logical conclusion.
Jake Perry November 15, 2011 at 06:20 AM
I've had a works bomb explode in my hands, it was a pretty big one too. nothing happens.All y'all who think these are terrible explosive devices that can do so much damage don't know what you're talking about. I've had some go off in my yard, I think it's a funny prank.
Joseph November 15, 2011 at 06:21 AM
Also for people referring to morals, it really depends on how you define morals in general. Some have referred to the boys' nature and morals but that is entirely besides the point now. We know what they did was wronso now the argument is how the punishment should be carried out. That is where morals come in. According to the utilitarian principal, the morally correct choice would be the choice has the biggest overall benefit. Inflicting an extreme punishment would ultimately have only one bad result- the kids' futures. Letting them off with a relatively minor disciplinary action according to the crime would have the more beneficial result because they still have their lives ahead of them. From what is gathered about these kids from the community, I think it is reasonable to say that they are good kids who made a bad decision which means there would be no negative results. Again, this seems way more logical than your more emotionally favored arguments supporting ultimately the morally wrong choice.
Richie November 15, 2011 at 06:40 AM
In response to Smith, Fortunately in our country we have something called a "Common Law" system where a rational person, will ultimately get to decide what is just. Yes, it was a federal crime, however does that mean that these two kids should receive months or years in prison? Absolutely not.
Michael Jacobs November 15, 2011 at 07:22 AM
Please keep the language clean. I had to delete a couple of comments simply because they include words that aren't allowed, and that led to deleting one other comment that responded to a deleted comment.
Shelly McClain November 15, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Those "goofy" kids are lucky they did not kill the gentleman that picked up that bottle bomb. No, these are NOT harmless pranks, and these boys will pay for their reckless behavior and have sadly ruined their lives. If this is the sort of "fun" their friends are also having, then I pray that they learn a lesson and think twice before endangering people's lives over such a stupid, and yes criminal, action.
Kyle November 15, 2011 at 03:24 PM
you all are a bunch of idiots. I assume how pointless it is to take the time to write on here what you guys are arguing about. The person who had the bottles thrown in their yard defines the term "idiot". I hope he reads this and realizes that a stupid prank that was harmless is now bound to ruin each of these individuals lives. Bomb? You've gotta be F*%ing kidding me. It makes a loud noise. end of story. there is no such thing as a works water bottle bomb harming an individual or any land structure of some sort. You people who think these kids deserve to be punished for this are straight up idiots who shouldnt even be here in the first place. i know both of these kids, played baseball this summer with Evan and realized how much of an amazing person he and how harmless he can be. Bottle bombs are pranks for god sake! Nothing harmful in them! The only count that should be on the record is Evan's possession charge. People make mistakes in their lives and realize it later on. Evan and Josh should not be sitting in jail, but appologizing to the family of the houses these bottles were thrown at, and BAM! Problem solved with nothing major to pay for. You are all so ignorant and self-centered. I can only wish that you people sooner or later come to realize the situation that they are in because of this. I would be laughing at this if i was sitting in jail becuase of how f&*@ing dumb all of this is. You people are ridiculous.
Brooke November 15, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Okay Non of you know Evan or Josh! It was a prank! The bom would not have hurt the guy. Like really! I mean they are a bunch of teenage boys yeah it was stupid but they are good kids and they attend WHEELER HIGH SCHOOL not Walton! Big difference! Team Evan and Josh!
Brooke November 15, 2011 at 03:39 PM
none* and Bomb*
Michael Jacobs November 15, 2011 at 05:20 PM
FYI: Josh and Evan made bond Monday night, so they are out of jail, though not out of the woods. http://patch.com/A-nHRg
Mit November 15, 2011 at 07:48 PM
2 Wheeler students commit felonies Gale incorrectly calls them Walton students, and denigrates the Walton community Gale is corrected on her mistake Gale makes up further BS to further denigrate the Walton community Question: Is that "the way it works" over in the Wheeler community or is Gale an outlier?
Anonymous November 15, 2011 at 10:23 PM
I'm rooting/praying for these guys all the way. I hope they have Jesus.
John Turner November 15, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Okay to clarify for all of those who are uninformed, works bombs are hardly anything more than firecrackers. Also it is very innapropriate for you to immediately blame parents, Tiah. I know these kids personally, and they come from great parents and families. They are 17 years old. Just because you may have been sheltered behind your parents doesn't mean everyone is.
John Turner November 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM
James, if you read, you would realize that nothing was harmed at all. Also to call them "bombs" is ridiculous. You obviously don't know what they are. Hardly more than a firecracker. Kids throw firecrackers around in my neighborhood all of the time. I don't see any of them being convicted as felons.
John Turner November 15, 2011 at 10:56 PM
I agree with William completely. Also, "johnsmith", you obviously don't know what a works bomb is. Its hardly more powerful than a firecracker, and firecrackers don't cause felonies.
John Turner November 15, 2011 at 10:56 PM
This was completely ignorant of you to post and very unnecessary.
John Turner November 15, 2011 at 10:57 PM
This has to be the funniest thing I've seen all day, Mack. Killing someone (OJ)> throwing a firecracker. Come on now, use a little sense.
Anne November 16, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Boys will be boys...this saying has been around since time began and cavemen's adolescent sons tossed a baby cave lion into the gathering to see everyone scream. Did they make a bad decision yes, and luckily no one was hurt. However, back before 'zero tolerance', when people had common sense, the boys would be served up a dose of humiliation, have to apologize and do some community service, learning that they did not want to repeat their actions. 90% of kids never do another stupid thing again, 10% might. Are we so scared of our shadows that we punish everyone as if they are the 10% on the way to a life of crime or do we show them some compassion and help them to learn to become productive members of a civilized society?
Terry Anderson November 16, 2011 at 01:50 AM
If you knew these kids, you would realize how ignorant your labels like "punks" and your comparisons to OJ and Timothy McVie are. If you took the time to research what they built and threw, you would realize how inaccurate even calling them a bomb is, let alone contending that someone could lose a finger or a hand from having one blow up while holding one. If all it takes is potential energy and this level of explosion to quealify as a bomb, then loosening a soda cap, shaking it up and throwing it is making a bomb, too. Again, ignorant statement. If you knew the parents involved, then you would realize how ignorant calling them irresponsible or worse is. The irony and hypocrisy of them having such excessive charges thrown at them in South Carolina, a state which so garishly hawks fireworks at every border crossing to those from states like Georgia where these are illegal, is amazing. Bottle rockets, smoke bombs, M80s, heck even sparklers are more dangerous than what these kids threw. Let their parents and the school hand out consequences, keep the courts and jails available for truly dangerous criminals. The sensational scare tactics employed here are an insult to the brave men and women who deal with real bombs and real crime every day.
Terry Anderson November 16, 2011 at 02:02 AM
Thank you! Exactly!! 42 years ago, when I was 10, I was sitting in my mom's car waiting for her to come out of the store in Dalton, Georgia. Two teenage boys came up, lit a cherry bomb type smoke bomb, and threw it onto the seat next to me. In grabbing it and throwing it out of the car I got a burn on my hand. When my mom came out and heard what had happened, she drove threw the parking lot, found the boys, threatened to call the police, instead got their parents names and numbers, and called them. 20 minutes later they were being punished by their parents, and made to apologize and buy me ice cream out of their allowance. That's how such matters should be handled - not by ruining their lives and exposing them to real criminals in prison.
Terry Anderson November 16, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Sorry, through, not threw the parking lot. Plenty of ignorance to go around, obviously.
Tiah Crawl November 16, 2011 at 03:40 AM
JohnTurner,your defensiveness has caused you to misinterpret what I wrote. I didn't blame the parents.I said the boys were taught better than that and have hurt their parents by their actions. I know Mrs. Denning and have met Josh. I don't know Evan (but only heard good things about them both)nevertheless, their actions were irresponsible& served no other purpose than to annoy/negatively affect others for the sake of a few laughs (Duh, a prank). Pranks don't usually receive positive reactions. Throwing something that can "explode" or have any chemical reaction was not done in the best interest of the pet, child or person that they could have hit or may have come in contact with when thrown in the yards. What was next? I'm sure the marijuana in the car was part of yet another prank, too. Are the kids supposed to use drugs while on or off the school sports teams? No. But they were in posession of it. Sometimes we learn hard lessons. Doing something wrong is STILL wrong even if its not as bad to you unless someone gets hurt.Too bad they got caught huh? Getting caught was the best thing to deter them from any subsequent events that they might not have otherwise given more serious thought. As a parent who cares for ALL Wheeler students and would be equally hard on my own children. I feel for the parents& the embarassment they all must feel. We never want our kids to get in trouble like this& affect their futures and reputations. So again, I say we pray for everyone involved.
That guy November 16, 2011 at 04:15 AM
First of all. It was a prank. Bored teenage stuff. I guarantee that if the were confronted by the man it would've ended with a slap on the wrist by there parents. Second of all I know the Dennings and they are extremely good parents. If you don't believe me then ask how their other two sons are doing in life. Point being parents can't control teenagers, they can only suggest and set a good example. It's up to the teen to decipher right from wrong. The ability to do that is was separates humans from animals. Lastly, Gale, I swear if you say one more thing about a school then I am going to lose it. Your entitled to your opinion but you should know how misguided and flawed it is. Walton is an excellent school academically, winning several academic awards in recent years, they are also one of the top athletic schools in the state winning several state titles and sending several athletes to play college sports at the highest level. Bad school? Not in the slightest...you will never EVER EVER escape drugs in highschools. EVER. So drop it.
Reese Witherspoon November 16, 2011 at 05:02 AM
Jake Perry you make a really good point. People don't seem to know what a works bomb is. I think that it is a really funny prank as well! You seem like a really awesome guy
William November 18, 2011 at 02:19 AM
Its obvious that not many people commenting actually know what they are talking about. A "Works" bomb, while given the name, is hardly a bomb. There is hardly any shrapnel, and of the little bit, it is *almost* harmless. I say almost because a slight scratch is still harm. It also sickens me that anyone considers this persecution even slightly just. And beyond that, there should never be any variance between punishment based on race, age, religion,or gender. Other wise the justice system wouldn't be just. Also, here is a note. Spice is a slang term for synthetic Marijuana. It is generally unscheduled. It just so happened that the Research chemical found in the brand of Spice that Evan Wallace possessed was banned 3 months before their trip to Carolina. Also, Being someone who knows both of the juniors, i would say that they were just being immature and trying to have fun. They found that fun by getting into mischeif.

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