Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 | 10:04 p.m.
Burlington Coat Factory
Two men were found guilty Friday of detonating chemical bombs at a Burlington Coat Factory in Henderson on April 21.
A jury found John Morgan, 28, and Roger Jenkins, 42, both of Henderson, guilty of burglary, two counts of use of an explosive device to damage property, two counts of manufacturing or possessing an explosive device, five counts of possession of credit or debit cards without the cardholder’s consent, conspiracy to manufacture and posses an explosive device, possession of burglary tools and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Sentencing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 23. The maximum sentence each man faces is 70 years in prison.
Their trial began on Wednesday. The jury returned its verdicts on the first 12 counts after about four hours of deliberation.
The jury deliberated fewer than 10 minutes on the count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
At the time of the explosions, about 30 customers and 20 employees were in the store at 560 N. Stephanie St. No one was seriously injured.
Both men denied being in the store at the time of the explosions. But prosecutors called witnesses who said they said they saw Morgan there.
A store security guard followed a black Infinity SUV after the explosion. Jenkins, who had picked Morgan up from the store, was driving the vehicle, which contained a firearm and several stolen credit cards, prosecutors alleged.
Robert Glennen, Jenkins’ attorney, argued that “mere presence” at the scene is not a crime. Because Jenkins was a construction worker, Glennen said, what the prosecution described as burglary tools may have been used for work, not for committing a crime.
Marty Hart was Morgan’s defense attorney. He argued that just because Morgan’s behavior appeared suspicious to some witnesses, it did not necessarily imply guilt.
“What is not a crime: looking suspicious or creepy, taking too long to wander around Burlington Coat Factory,” Hart said.
During closing arguments, Morgan occasionally took notes. Jenkins peered over his glasses, sighed and shook his head as the prosecutors spoke.
“What this case seems to boil down to is whether these two men are partners in crime or whether they’re vigorous shoppers who are out to get the perfect outfit for John Morgan,” prosecutor Richard Scow said during closing arguments.
“If (Morgan) hadn’t done anything in the store, why would he say he’d never been in there?” Scow asked.
The men are being held without bond at the Clark County Detention Center.