A Barnwell, South Carolina man who intentionally placed two homemade pipe bombs outside of the Pickens County, South Carolina Courthouse in July 2019 was sentenced in federal court this week.
Michael Seabrooke, 37, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of explosive devices and two counts of malicious damage and attempt to damage by means of explosive materials.
At approximately 11:15 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 7, 2019 a pair of homemade pipe bombs detonated outside of the Pickens County, S.C. court house in Pickens, S.C.
These two homemade bombs were “intentionally placed” in a fenced-in area on the side of the courthouse building, according to the Pickens, S.C. police department.
The device, made from two pipe bombs attached to a propane cylinder, caused minimal structural damage to the building, according to court documents.
No one was injured during the bombing.1-1
When police reviewed surveillance video from the area, detectives identified a Chevy truck as the suspect’s vehicle, according to court documents. Police then traced the licence plate and named Seabrooke as the suspect.
Days later, Seabrooke was located by law enforcement and arrested.
When he was interviewed, Seabrooke confessed to FBI that he placed the explosive devise outside of the courthouse, according to court records.
Seabrooke also confessed to throwing other devices on the roof of the the Pickens County office of the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS). The building was evacuated three days after the courthouse bomb due to a threat involving homemade incendiary devices.
He told police he had other explosive devices in his car, according to court documents.
Police then searched his vehicle and found other explosive devices (including three Molotov cocktails) and evidence that linked him to both incidents, according to court records.
He originally faced a slew of other state charges in the incident including detonate destructive device, possession of a weapon of mass destruction and willful injury to courthouse or jail. Those charges appear to be pending in state court.
Following the pipe bomb incident, many questioned why Seabrooke was out of jail to begin with.
Seabrooke has been arrested on several occasions in the past. In 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2015 he was picked up on family court bench warrants.
He was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Fairfield County in February 2019 — that case is still pending.
According to sources familiar with that situation, Seabrooke allegedly raped a female relative who was under the age of ten at the time of the assault.
S.C. circuit court judge Brian Gibbons set Seabrooke’s bond at $15,000 on the criminal sexual conduct charge in 2019 before the bombing incident.
He was also on probation related to an “aggravated breach of peace.”
Sources close to Seabrooke told FITSNews he began behaving irrationally in 2015, believing that authorities in Pickens County had conspired with the mother of his two children to murder them (even though both of his children are still alive).
“I’m not sure where he got this crazy idea but he was determined it was a fact and that his children were deceased,” one source close to the family told us.
In October of 2017, Seabrooke posted disturbing comments on social media referencing “crucket” (i.e. crooked) cops and his plans for dealing with them.
His own brother, John Seabrooke, told reporters with The Greenville News that he should have already been behind bars.
“They should have denied him bond period,” John Seabrooke said, referring to the criminal sexual conduct charge.
Seabrooke was sentenced to 144 months in federal prison. There is no parole for federal sentences.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the Pickens Police Department, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Max Cauthen handled the case.
-FITSNews Founding Editor Will Folks contributed to this report…
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