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Man arrested after Sunday incident had allegedly set off pipe bomb at ex-girlfriend’s home earlier this year

Crime Watch

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Nathan Blackburn | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — The man who was arrested after a five-hour standoff Sunday allegedly showed a pattern of breaking into his girlfriend’s home, documents say.

Nathan Blackburn, 41, is charged with felony burglary and felony first-degree stalking.


According to court documents, Blackburn moved into his girlfriend’s home in October. In mid-January, he allegedly set off a “pipe bomb,” which broke the back window of his ex-girlfriend’s house, “in order to control her.” After multiple incidents of Blackburn allegedly holding his ex-girlfriend against her will, she told him to move out Feb. 22.

Six days later, Blackburn still had not moved out, and that is when his ex-girlfriend changed the locks and security codes to her house. On Feb. 28, Blackburn allegedly gained access and locked his girlfriend out. Around this date, a civil protection order was approved, though Blackburn was not served a copy of the order until March 20, according to court documents.

Between the time Blackburn’s ex-girlfriend severed contact with him, he allegedly sent pictures of his “barricaded” house to her, “stating it’s her fault he’s living this way.” He would then contact her through various methods, including through fictitious phone numbers, documents say.

On March 14 at 10 p.m. a pizza was delivered to the woman’s home and shortly after, two taxis were sent to “pick her up.” She claims she never ordered pizza or called for a taxi, according to court documents.

The day before a civil protection order hearing, Blackburn sent a “scathing” email to her. Blackburn did not show up for the court appearance on March 18. At 11 p.m. the ex-girlfriend received an email alert that Blackburn was in the neighborhood. Blackburn then allegedly stole a security camera from above the garage door and banged on the door. He left before officers arrived, according to court documents.

The next day police arrived at the home on Bluebird Lane, finding the fence broken and an alarm in the basement activated. Police suspect Blackburn had entered the home that day, according to documents.

“(The victim) has since packed her things and left the state to get away from Nathan and the behavior he is exhibiting,” an officer said in his report.

By Feb. 21 officers went to the victim’s home on Bluebird Lane. They discovered footprints and cigarette butts suspected to be from Blackburn. At that time, officers also removed items from the property that Blackburn is suspected to have used to create homemade explosives.

The Sunday break in

Nate Sunderland,

On Sunday officers responded to the home on the 1200 block of Bluebird Lane for a burglary alarm. Blackburn’s ex-girlfriend then told people who were watching that house for her that security camera footage had captured Blackburn inside. She said it sounded as if a window had been broken and she was unsure if Blackburn had left or was still inside the house, according to court documents.

Blackburn returned to his home on Bellin Road while a SWAT team arrived at the Bluebird Lane house to take control of the situation.

Idaho Falls Police spokeswoman Jessica Clements said a crisis negotiator was brought in to help talk Blackburn out of the house.

Police arrested Blackburn and transported him to the Bonneville County Jail, where he remains in custody.

This incident wasn’t his first run-in with the law. He was charged last year in Bonneville County with domestic battery, telephone harassment and malicious injury to property. He was also arrested in 2012 after he reportedly pointed a gun at his wife and another man when he caught the two kissing.

Blackburn has a preliminary hearing scheduled on April 3 at the Bonneville County Courthouse. He remains in the Bonneville County Jail.