A 38-year-old man agreed to a plea bargain Monday to resolve what his attorney called a series of pranks involving loud firecrackers in the Tustin area.
Kevin Sean Welch pleaded guilty to a single felony count of use of a destructive device with the intent to injure and was immediately sentenced to 292 days in jail, the amount of time he served, and placed on five years of formal probation.
Welch pleaded guilty to a crime that occurred on Oct. 30. It was not immediately clear what that crime was, but his attorney, William Bruzzo, said his client was “basically a fireworks enthusiast. He pranked some people with a big firecracker.”
Bruzzo added the plea bargain reached with prosecutors was “appropriate. If we were in another time and place where we weren’t so afraid of people using explosives he probably wouldn’t have gotten a fraction of this time. He clearly didn’t injure anyone. It was a prank. Nobody was injured and some property was damaged.”
As part of the plea deal, several other felony charges were dismissed related to incidents on Nov. 6 and Nov. 14, according to court records.
Orange County sheriff’s deputies were called just before 9 a.m., Nov. 14, to a condominium in the 12700 block of Newport Avenue in an unincorporated area near Tustin, Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
When deputies arrived at the home, a man who lived there admitted there was a “loud explosion, but he wasn’t being very forthcoming with deputies,” Braun said in November.
The deputies saw that a terra cotta chiminea-type object had been blown apart in Welch’s yard, with a piece of shrapnel landing in a neighbor’s yard, Braun said. They also spotted what appeared to be a pipe bomb.
Deputies evacuated residents of four neighboring condominiums, Braun said. Newport Avenue was closed from Wass Street to Warren Avenue.
Deputies disassembled the pipe bomb in the condominium just after 4 p.m. and collected a large amount of bomb-making materials in the residence, Braun said.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: