Coon Rapids man pleads guilty in ‘Molotov cocktail’ case

A Coon Rapids man has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to one of three felony charges after a “Molotov cocktail” device was found inside a Coon Rapids residence.

John Michael Udell, 23, will be sentenced Jan. 30 after entering a guilty plea to a terroristic threats charge. A second terroristic threats count as well as an explosive/incendiary device violation charge will be dismissed at sentencing, which was set at a Dec. 17, 2013 court hearing.

The early morning of April 30, 2013, Coon Rapids Police responded to a report of a possible explosive or incendiary device that had been found inside a residence on the 500 block of 112th Lane.

According to the complaint, the homeowner, a woman, awakened to find what appeared to be a “Molotov cocktail” on her couch.

The device was described in the complaint as a 40-ounce glass beer bottle with an amber liquid in the bottom and shotgun shells, fireworks, nails and wadding material stuff throughout as well as a rag inside the bottle which trailed outside as a type of wick.

In addition, there was a plastic bottle of charcoal lighter fluid immediately next to the beer bottle.

The woman suspected that Udell, who she allowed to stay in the house, was the person who made the device.

Udell had been taken to the hospital earlier that morning for an unrelated medical condition and when police arrived to speak with him, he spontaneously said, “Wow, you’d think it was the Boston bombing or something.”

The Boston Marathon bombings took place April 15, 2013.

Officers had not told Udell anything about the device or why they were at the hospital to see him before he made the statement.

In an interview with officers, Udell admitted that he had made the device by pouring lighter fluid in the beer bottle and packing the nails, shotgun shells and fireworks inside, but he denied planning to use it to harm anyone.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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