Judge orders man accused of Walmart bomb threat to remain in jail until trial
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Police say Kelsey Waggoner called in a bomb threat to a local Walmart himself last week. That was after he tried to tell officials the day before that he had explosives.
“I don’t think there’s any safe time to put a bomb anywhere, but certainly during the middle of the day is less safe than any other time,” said James Plummer, prosecutor.
Tuesday morning in court, the state made its case to keep Kelsey Waggoner in jail until trial.
Waggoner is charged with possession of an explosive device after calling APD last week, saying he had three bombs on the property of the Walmart on Eubank in northeast Albuquerque.
The state argued nothing would keep the public safe from Waggoner.
“The defendant can’t comply with conditions of release. He’s been a fugitive from Oklahoma for four years since 2017. Conditions of release can’t protect the safety of the community because the defendant created an improvised explosive device,” said Plummer.
Court documents say Waggoner was taken to Kaseman Hospital for a mental health evaluation the day before the actual bomb threat, but was later released.
“It was confirmed by the bomb squad that it was a functional bomb, smokeless, gunpowder, nails as shrapnel, light bulbs were used as a wire and an ignition source. This is just extremely dangerous conduct by the defendant,” Plummer said.
The defense argued the bomb was meant for self-defense. Court documents say Waggoner was afraid of someone, so he made the bombs to protect himself.
“He called it in himself, it’s clear he was in a mental health crisis, it’s clear he was in a mental health crisis when they dumped him at Kasemen for a day. It’s clear this is a cry for help,” said Christopher Molina, defense attorney.
Ultimately, the judge sided with the state.
“At this moment the court cannot come up with conditions of release that mitigate dangers to the public,” said Second Judicial District Court Judge Emeterio Rudolfo.
Waggoner will stay in jail until trial.
The judge agreed Waggoner is in need of mental health resources and said once treatment was given there could be a motion filed to reconsider Waggoner’s pretrial detention.
No trial date has been set yet.