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Man charged in Speedway explosion allegedly linked to other Indianapolis blasts

Posted at 4:59 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-27 18:34:28-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Court documents say a man who is charged with detonating an explosive device last week in Speedway was previously prosecuted for setting off a device the night before the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and allegedly was responsible for an October 2018 explosion in Irvington.

Wayne Turner, 63, along with his son, Isak Turner, 21, are accused of setting off an explosive device at 9:10 p.m. Dec. 20 at a railroad bridge near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the 3600 block of West 16th Street. The explosion caused $5,000 in damage to a woman's car as she drove under the overpass and was responsible for $1,000 in damage to the bridge, according to court documents.

Wayne Turner is charged with arson, manufacturing a destructive device and possession of a destructive device, while Isak Turner faces charges of arson and possession of a destructive device. All charges against both men are felonies.

According to court documents, Isak Turner's girlfriend, who was allegedly with the Turners last week at the bridge but was not charged, said in an interview with police that her boyfriend previously told her Wayne Turner had bragged about about setting off explosive devices multiple times. She said Wayne Turner told his son that he set off an explosive device Oct. 3, 2018 in Irvington.

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During the investigation into last week's explosion, investigators discovered Wayne Turner was previously investigated and prosecuted for detonating "M" style devices the night before the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

He pleaded guilty to felony criminal recklessness, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor after his sentence of more than two years of work release was complete. A condition of his sentence was that he stay away from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

According to court documents, officers responded to the explosion last week and found a post-blast crater in the dirt under the 16th Street bridge. The blast also damaged bridge paint, causing burn discoloration and flaking of the paint, and a light fixture was damaged and blown out.

A woman driving a 2011 Honda Odyssey was passing under the bridge as the explosion happened. The car's paint and metal was damaged by the blast and debris.

The documents said Speedway police officers saw three people, Wayne Turner, Isak Turner and Isak's girlfriend, walking on the bridge moments after the explosion.

Isak Turner's girlfriend told police she and the Turners were celebrating Wayne Turner's birthday at his apartment on East Washington Street. She told investigators Wayne Turner constructed what she described as an explosive device.

Isak Turner told investigators he put the device in his backpack, and his girlfriend said she and the Turners left the apartment and drove to the 1200 block of Olin Avenue, just south of 16th Street. She said they got out of the car and walked to the 16th Street Bridge where Wayne Turner took out the explosive device and asked her to light it, which she said she refused to do.

She said Isak Turner agreed to light the device, which he said he did with a cigarette he was smoking, and then he tossed it onto the ground where it exploded.

The documents also say both Isak Turner and his girlfriend told investigators there was additional powder and bomb-making material at Wayne Turner's apartment and that Wayne Turner previously bragged about setting off other explosions, including one in Irvington in October 2018.

Investigators searched Wayne Turner's apartment on Dec. 21, and found approximately seven-to-eight pounds of potassium perchlorate, approximately one-tenth of a pound of aluminum powder, hobby fuse, scales, tools used to manufacture and mix explosives and various size cardboard tubing, all of which were seized as evidence.