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Posts published in “Criminal Justice”

July 4 Explosives Suspect in Court

Police on High Alert, Deployed Drone

By SCOTT CARROLL, Asheville Watchdog

A man who authorities say detonated a potentially dangerous homemade explosive following a July 4 celebration in downtown Asheville will remain in jail indefinitely after a judge ruled Tuesday that prosecutors had presented enough evidence to warrant the charges against him.

Chioke Auden Fugate, 23, has been in the Buncombe County jail since July 11. Asheville Police say Fugate and Duncan Andrew Small, 30, threatened to blow up the remnants of the Vance Monument and detonated at least one explosive known as a quarter stick, an illegal device capable of serious injury.

Their attorneys say Fugate and Small were merely setting off fireworks, but prosecutors have described the men as a “danger to the community.” As Asheville Watchdog previously reported,


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Was It Just a Fireworks Prank? Or Was a Possible Tragedy Averted?

Courts weigh public safety threat of July 4 explosives suspects

Fugate posted a photo of himself in his blue coyote "fursona," holding an M4 carbine // credit:


One dressed in Nazi uniforms, posed with an array of firearms and knives, and posted videos of himself shooting automatic rifles. The other threatened to spread his COVID-19 infection throughout a courthouse in Washington state if court personnel did not drop a speeding ticket.

Chioke Fugate, 23, and Duncan Small, 30, both of Asheville, are charged with detonating a homemade explosive similar to a pipe bomb in Pack Square on July 4. Witnesses said Small threw the explosive, described in court as a “quarter stick” or M device, at the remnants of the Vance Monument, and Fugate “threw fireworks and other incendiary devices at people,” court records say.

No one was injured, but police said the explosion,