Trial ordered for man accused of having 20 pounds of explosives in South Jordan home

Crews began demolishing the home at 3371 W. Snow Moon Place, South Jordan, on June 1.

Crews began demolishing the home at 3371 W. Snow Moon Place, South Jordan, on June 1. (Chopper 5, KSL-TV)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A judge ordered a South Jordan man accused of having 20 pounds of explosive materials in his house to stand trial on Thursday after hearing testimony from police officers who investigated the case.

On July 23, 2020, a few homes were evacuated while police set up a tactical operation, brought in armored cars and served a warrant based on information that Ryan Lynn McManigal, 43, was in possession of guns in violation of a protective order. This led to a shootout between police and McManigal, according to police testimony at the hearing.

Police said they were concerned about McManigal after he sent threatening texts to a number he thought was the manager of a Culver's near his house. McManigal was also reported to be outside in his yard with a gun after neighbors thought they heard shots; a lamppost near his home had been shot; a girl visiting a friend on McManigal's street had her car keyed with "don't park on street;" and, McManigal allegedly posted concerning comments on Facebook connecting him to some of these events, according to information discussed at the hearing.

Lt. Matt Pennington with the South Jordan Police Department told the court that the actions were concerning enough that it required keeping a police watch on McManigal, including continual communication with him. Police obtained a warrant, but did not serve it until McManigal allegedly asked Pennington if he had permission to kill someone he thought was following him.

McManigal was ordered to stand trial for two counts of attempted aggravated murder and three counts of possession or use of a weapon of mass destruction, both first degree felonies; as well as charges resulting from a separate case, including two counts of criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, and three counts of unlawful shooting, a class B misdemeanor.

A significant number of homemade explosives were found in McManigal's home following his arrest, according to police. Unifed Fire Authority Division Chief Steven Ball, who is on the arson and bomb squad, testified at the preliminary hearing about the amount of explosives at the house and the procedures required to ensure safety for officers and neighboring homes.

He said that white powder found at the house was consistent with what he knew about TATp, or acetone peroxide, but that it was a very large quantity. After talking with McManigal about what he knew about the explosive material, Ball was worried because the information he had seemed accurate. Ball said the FBI was brought in because the amount of explosives found is "very, very, very infrequent."

Lots of caution was used in clearing the house, Ball said, including using robots, burying items and evacuating 600 people to perform controlled detonations. In June 2021, the home was demolished after South Jordan officials filed a lawsuit calling it a "literal minefield."

A pretrial hearing for McManigal is set for Nov. 3. McManigal did not testify at the preliminary hearing but said that he wants to testify at trial.

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Emily Ashcraft joined as a reporter in 2021. She covers courts and legal affairs, as well as health, faith and religion news.


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