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Man charged with igniting explosive at new high school

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Sep. 14, 2018 at 1:41 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A St. George man who was helping to build a new high school in Washington City is accused of igniting a homemade bomb on the football field under construction.

Logan Michael Mertlich, 33, was charged Aug. 27 in 5th District Court with having an incendiary device, a second-degree felony; drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; theft, a class B misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

On Aug. 22, there was an explosion near the football field under construction at Crimson Cliffs High School, according to charging documents.

Mertlich was immediately identified as the person allegedly responsible, the charges state. The day before, he was observed "filling a 16-ounce water bottle with diesel fuel," the charges state.

Another employee told police that he had seen Mertlich shaking a bottle of liquid with a white substance in it, according to a search warrant affidavit unsealed Friday.

"When (the worker) asked him what he was doing, Logan replied he was making a bomb," the warrant states.

The other employee told him to "take it and get away from them so no one would get hurt. … He stated that he later heard an explosion and looked over to where the football field was being built and saw a large plume of black smoke coming from the area and Logan was hiding behind the goal post for the football field," according to the warrant.

The explosive was set off while kids were attending classes at nearby Crimson Cliffs Middle School, according to court documents.

When (the worker) asked him what he was doing, Logan replied he was making a bomb.

–Search warrant affidavit

The witness also told investigators that "he has known Logan to have set off several small devices in the past around the construction site that he referred to as homemade M-80 devices," the warrant states.

Mertlich's next court hearing was scheduled for Oct. 9.

Pat Reavy

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