Police Formally Charge Man Headed to L.A. Pride With Loaded Assault Rifle, Explosives: VIDEO

James Wesley Howell

James Wesley Howell, who was arrested Sunday heading towards the Los Angeles Pride festival in a car loaded with weapons and explosive chemicals, has been formally charged.

Howell “had a loaded assault rifle with magazines rigged to allow 60 shots to be fired in quick succession, along with 15 pounds of chemicals mixed and ready to explode.”

The NY Post reports:

Howell made his initial court appearance Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to three felony weapons and ammunition charges. The judge set bail at $2 million.

Alone, each item found in Howell’s car might not indicate anything sinister, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz said. But together, they “just don’t pass the common sense test.”

“I cannot in good conscience think of any reasonable reason that somebody would be traveling across the country with all of these things,” he said.

Although Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks mistakenly tweeted that Howell intended to “harm” the L.A. Pride festival, authorities later said they did not know his intentions.

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It was also ruled out that Howell was connected to the massacre of 49 people in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

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A restraining order against Howell in Indiana prohibits him from possessing firearms.

Howell has said he did not intend to harm festival attendees.

RELATED: Orlando Survivor Shares Her Story in Harrowing Poem: ‘The Guilt of Being Alive Is Heavy’ – WATCH

According to the Los Angeles Times, he was charged with three felony offenses – possession of explosives on a highway, possession of an assault weapon and possession of high-capacity magazines. Police also filed a misdemeanor charge, possession of a firearm in a car.

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Robert Boyd, Howell’s attorney in a separate Kentucky criminal case, said his client’s father and mother are struggling to get details about their son’s arrest. Details about the case, said Boyd said, “may have been blown out of proportion.They are very interested to find out the true facts of the case.”

Appearing at the Airport Courthouse in L.A. yesterday, Howell entered a plea of not guilty.

He faces up to nine years and four months in prison if convicted on all charges.

Watch a CNN report below.

(Image via Twitter)

The post Police Formally Charge Man Headed to L.A. Pride With Loaded Assault Rifle, Explosives: VIDEO appeared first on Towleroad.

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