Father of teen who caused explosion at Newaygo HS pleads guilty

Newaygo County

A booking photo of David Saylor from the Newaygo County Jail. (March 9, 2021)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man whose son brought homemade explosives to Newaygo High School, causing a small blast that injured the teen, has entered into a plea deal in the federal case against him.

David Robert-Daniel Saylor, 33, of Brooks Township, agreed to plead guilty to possession of an unregistered pipe bomb and possession of a stolen gun, according to court documents.

For their part, federal prosecutors agreed to drop a third count when Saylor is sentenced. He could still spend up to 10 years in a federal prison on each of the counts to which he admitted.

The agreement was signed Monday. On Thursday, a magistrate accepted the guilty pleas and recommended that the district court judge accept the deal.

Under its terms, Saylor agreed to pay restitution to Newaygo High School for the damage caused by the March 8 explosion that his 16-year-old son caused using homemade explosives the two made together.

Authorities say they think the detonation was accidental and they don’t think the teen meant to hurt anyone.

After the explosion, authorities went to the teen’s home in nearby Brooks Township, where they found more explosives, including the PVC pipe bomb referenced in the federal case. They also found a .22 rifle. The plea agreement documents say it had been stolen in October 2019 and that Saylor bought it for $50 the following summer, and that he had reason to believe it was stolen.

Saylor was originally charged at the state level but that case was dropped in April in favor of federal prosecution, Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay told News 8.

The teen sustained serious injuries to his hands in the explosion. He has been charged as a juvenile at the state level with manufacturing or possessing a Molotov cocktail or similar device and possession of a weapon in a weapon-free school zone.

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