The former UC Davis freshman whose interest in powder chemicals and explosives caused the evacuation of 450 Tercero residents last March won‘t serve any jail time.
As part of his plea agreement, Mark Woods – a 19-year-old former economics major – pled no contest in Yolo County Superior Count on Wednesday to a felony count of unlawfully possessing an explosive.
Woods was sentenced to three years of felony probation, 150 days of community service and 150 days in county jail. He will be allowed to serve house arrest at his parents‘ home in Southern California in lieu of jail time, said Assistant Chief District Attorney Steve Mount.
In return for his no contest plea, the Yolo County District Attorney‘s office lifted two felony counts of possessing materials with intent to make a destructive device and possessing a destructive device in a public place – charges that carry a combined maximum sentence of 10 years.
“[Those charges] are straight felonies and they are non-probational, which means he would have had to go to state prison,“ Mount said. “He did something very dangerous and very stupid but at the same time it didn‘t seem like his intention was to hurt anybody.“
Woods is not allowed to enter the UC Davis campus without written permission. He is also forbidden from possessing any firearms or materials that could be used to make explosives.
Woods was also ordered to pay $14,005 to local law enforcement as reimbursement for the time and resources expended on the incident.
“It was not just our own police department and overtime costs,“ said UC Davis spokesman Paul Pfotenhauer. “We also had to bring in the [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms], Sacramento Police and the local bomb squad so it‘s good he‘s paying restitution.“
Woods was suspended from UC Davis immediately after the incident. The plea bargain has no effect on his standing at the university and he is able to petition for readmission at any time.
“[Student Judicial Affairs] has an independent committee that goes through the entire case,“ Ptotenhauer said. “If a student wishes to come back to school they can petition for re-admittance, SJA will have a hearing and decide if he can come back.“
Student privacy policies preclude the university from confirming whether he has filed readmission.
The Mar. 6 incident began when a parent told UC Davis Police that her daughter suspected that a resident of Tercero D Building had explosives in his room. After finding suspicious chemical powders and PCV pipe, police evacuated the seven surrounding dorms. Over 450 students spent the night in the Tercero Dining Commons. They were allowed to return to their residences the following afternoon after the Sacramento Regional Bomb Squad removed five bins full of powders and chemical.
ALYSOUN BONDE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.