Franklin man accused of keeping suspected bomb waives hearing

From staff reports

A Franklin man accused of keeping a suspected bomb in his Arbor Circle apartment waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in Venango County Central Court.

Tyler Howard, 22, will now face further court proceedings on a felony count of weapons of mass destruction-unlawful possession or manufacture and a misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person.

Those charges against Howard were refiled after similar charges were dropped at Howard’s initial preliminary hearing in January by district judge Matthew Kirtland.

Kirtland said at that time District Attorney Shawn White’s case held nothing to “indicate this was an explosive device.”

Kirtland did say at the time that White could refile the charges once the device was tested.

Howard was held for court on some other charges at the January hearing.

The suspected bomb, which has been described by Franklin police chief Kevin Anundson as a 7-to-8-inch cardboard tube with a wick, was found in Howard’s apartment Dec. 6. The device was removed by an Erie state police bomb unit.

Police were initially searching the apartment for a then-wanted man who has since been captured.

Two similar devices were found Dec. 10 inside a Crestview Drive apartment in Sugarcreek Borough.

With those devices, a baggie filled with metal objects described by Sugarcreek police as “shrapnel” was also recovered.

One of the devices exploded when an Erie bomb squad tried to render it inoperable.