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Rexburg man accused of having explosive device found unfit for trial

Crime Watch

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Richard Scott Breckenridge | Madison County Jail

REXBURG — A judge determined a Rexburg man was unfit for trial after police say they found him with an explosive device in his apartment.

Richard Scott Breckenridge, 59, is charged with felony unlawful possession of a destructive device. On Jan. 5, Magistrate Judge David Hunt found Breckenridge unfit to proceed in his criminal case and ordered him to be committed to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Hunt’s decision came after Breckenridge had undergone a competency evaluation. Breckenridge has been in the Madison County Jail since the Rexburg Police Department arrested him at his West 5th South apartment on Dec. 19, 2020.

Officers were called to Brekenridge’s apartment after a neighbor called saying he made suicidal statements, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by Once inside, an officer spotted a black trash bag on the floor with a “clear outline of a large pot.”

RELATED | Rexburg police find homemade device containing pressure cooker, wires and gasoline

Police opened the bag and found the pot and the smell of gas. As officers opened the bag, Beckenridge laughed as he said, “Imagine that,” according to the probable cause.

In a news release, the Rexburg Police Department described what officers found as a “fully constructed crude incendiary device” made with 7-quart jars containing gasoline inside a pressure cooker. According to court documents, Breckenridge said the gas had been hooked to a timer before it was unplugged.

The Idaho Falls Regional Bomb Squad was called in to help determine the device as safe. Investigators took Breckenridge to Madison Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Police reports indicate Breckenridge was intoxicated at the time.

Once medically cleared, officers took him to the Madison County Jail, where he has been held on $100,000 bail.

Once Breckenridge is deemed competent, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.