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Second man charged in northern Utah homemade explosive investigation

A man died Thursday after being ejected from a vehicle during a collision between two trucks in Springville.
A second man has been charged in connection with a homemade explosive that went off at a northern Utah home.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A second man has been charged in connection with a homemade explosive that went off at a northern Utah home.

Joshua Daniel Keith, 22, of Providence, Cache County, was charged Friday in 1st District Court with two counts of recklessness using an incendiary device, a second-degree felony, and reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

The charges come a day after Jeffrey Randy Toombs, 21, of Providence, was charged with the same crimes.

According to charging documents, both men were injured Tuesday near 400 E. 100 South in Providence when a homemade explosive went off in a residential area.

"Toombs had shrapnel wounds to his right forearm. The other male, Joshua Daniel Keith … was receiving medical attention and preparing for emergency surgery. Keith had severe injuries to his hand, torso and eye," the charges state.

Toombs told investigators that Keith "was manufacturing a homemade 'blasting cap' at Toombs’ residence," and that "he and Keith had an ATF license to manufacture explosives. As they were packing the explosive into a shell casing, the device unintentionally detonated while in the garage," according to charging documents.

Cache County sheriff's deputies who responded to the home found a bottle of hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, a primary explosive used in blasting caps.

"The amount of explosive located was enough to cause substantial injury or death," the charges state.

Toombs told investigators that Keith was packing the explosive substance into spent rifle casings when the "device detonated in his hand causing the injuries to both Keith and Toombs," according to charging documents.

The explosive materials were purchased in Salt Lake City, the charges state. Prosecutors noted in charging documents that even though both men had ATF licenses, "the ATF license does not allow manufacturers to manufacture destructive devices by placing explosive material inside a container. Joshua Keith and Jeffery Toombs went beyond manufacturing an explosive by packing the explosive into a container.

"This risk is a gross deviation from common practices or standard of care in manufacturing explosives," the charges continued. "Bomb technicians have determined this device to be a destructive device."

Toombs was booked into jail while Keith remained in the hospital. An arrest warrant was issued for Keith so he will also be booked into jail once he is released from the hospital. Investigators requested both men be held on no bail, noting there is a possibility that other explosive devices exist at the house.

"Law enforcement has reason to believe that there are additional locations where explosive materials are stored and those locations have not yet been processed and the explosives have not been secured. Law enforcement are awaiting service of federal search warrants as well as specialized teams to secure and remove these explosives," the charges state. "The release of Joshua Keith from jail would pose a substantial risk to the public based on the fact he could have immediate access to explosives and explosive materials."