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Davis, California

Friday, July 19, 2024

Student accused of possessing explosives pleads not guilty

Mark Woods, the first-year student accused of possessing explosives, pled not guiltyto two felony charges in Yolo County Superior Court on Apr.25.

Woods faces charges of possession of materials to make a destructive device without first obtaining a permit and possession of a destructive device on public property,said assistant district attorney Steve Mount.

The first charge carries a maximum sentence of four years and the latter a maximum of sixyears,Mount said.

Woods iscurrently free on$100,000bail.His next court appearance isset forMay23.As a result of the felony charges,Woods is on deferred dismissal from the university.

Woods friends have maintained he isan inquisitive intellectual whowould do no harm.

However,malicious intent is not a requirement for conviction,Mount said.

Intent is always an issue to some degree,but one of the ways in which you can show [the law is violated] is that it is reckless, he said.“You dont have to have a bad intent if you are recklessly possessing these items in any of these [public] places.

Woods attorney,Christopher Wing,did not return several phone calls for comment.

Onthe evening ofMar.6,a parent alerted UC Davis police that her daughter believed a studentlivingin theTerceroDBuilding was in possession of explosives.After arriving on the scene,policediscovered suspicious powders and PVC pipes.

The subsequent investigationthat nightled to Woodsarrest and an evacuation ofcertain Tercero buildings.Over450students were lodged in the Tercero Dining Commons until the following day,when theSacramento regional bomb team removed five milk cratesworth of powders and chemicals.

During their investigation,police determined that explosives had been detonated on the third-floor balcony of theTerceroDBuilding earlier in the evening.

Woods did not respond to an online message for comment.

Cameron Wojciechowski,administrator of the“Free Mark Woodsfacebook.comgroup,believes the charges against Woods are valid in the interest of public safety,but that Woods simplymade a stupid mistakeat thewrong place and the wrong time.

“His experiments with pyrotechnical devices may just as well have been a hobby of his,said Wojciechowski,a first-yearexercise biology major in an e-mail interview.Though[Woods] may technically have been guilty for possession of those materials,I believe he should not be severely punished for his actions.

“Weve all regretted doing something at some point in our life,Wojciechowski continued.Mark just had his under terrible circumstances.

PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.


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