A Colorado Springs man has been arrested in connection with a Friday explosion in a home west of Memorial Park, Colorado Springs police said Monday.
Edward Kiley, 63, faces explosives, weapons and narcotics-related charges in connection with the explosion, which happened about 10 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of Vermijo Avenue. When police arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the house and the windows shattered. Colorado Springs fire crews had the fire out by 10:30 p.m.
Colorado Springs police Sgt. Chris Arseneau, who supervises the regional explosives unit, said eight explosive devices made by Kiley were found inside the home.
Kiley was inside the house and was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. He was later released on bond from the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. No one else was injured in the explosion, which caused extenstive damage to the house but didn't damange any other structures, Arseneau said.
Kiley was sentenced in 2013 to four years in prison after pleading guilty to explosives charges for making fireworks at home in what he described to police as a hobby. The Hillside neighborhood handyman had faced a far stiffer penalty - up to 60 years behind bars - but prosecutors tossed most of the counts against him in a January 2013 plea agreement requiring him to serve up to six years.
During Kiley's sentencing, prosecutor Reggie Short said Kiley made "hundreds" of explosive devices and had enough gunpowder in his home at Vermijo Avenue and Prospect Street to blow the house and imperil his neighbors. He was arrested in December 2011 after neighbors reported explosions so loud they shook the ground and rattled homes.
After being allowed inside the home in 2011, police found a mortar tube designed to shoot explosives into the air - laying the groundwork for a two-day sweep of the property by Colorado Springs police and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Kiley told authorities at that time that he used the Internet to track down the explosives and to find instructions on how to assemble them, an arrest affidavit said.
Short said at the 2013 sentencing that Kiley has a prior conviction for armed robbery and spent 6½ years in prison for vehicular homicide - the result of a 1992 drunken-driving crash in Connecticut that killed a 27-year-old physician on her way to an emergency call and later resulted in a $61.8 million civil judgment against Kiley.
After his release from prison in that case, Kiley moved to Colorado and was arrested at least three times for drunken driving, Short said.
Also during the 2013 sentencing, Short disputed a claim that Kiley was then sober, saying police found marijuana throughout his home and also a used syringe. Short said Kiley told police he used the syringe to inject methamphetamine, and warned that the drug makes him "paranoid."