Jury Acquits Accused 'Toilet Bomber'
Duane Davis was charged with two felonies in a February bomb scare.
A Baltimore County jury on Thursday acquitted a man charged in an unusual February bomb scare using a toilet, according to online court records.
Duane Davis had been charged with planting a fake destructive device and making a false statement about a destructive device, both felonies that each carried up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was found not guilty of the former and acquitted of the latter, according to court records.
The jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon and returned the verdict Thursday morning.
On Feb. 6, Davis, a Baltimore resident, planted a toilet outside the Old Courthouse, home to Baltimore County government, according to police. The toilet was covered with newspaper clippings and photos and tied to it were a portable television and a cell phone.
A county maintenance worker discovered the toilet on the morning of Feb. 7, thought it looked suspicious and alerted security. Streets around the courthouse were blocked for several hours as police called in bomb technicians and a helicopter to make sure the toilet was safe.
After his arrest, Davis was held without bail and ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.
Davis, 51, told police that the toilet was a calling card and a political statement and was not intended to be a bomb, though a police officer testified that Davis said he "could see how someone would think that" it was.
Davis has a history of using the toilets, and said he had deposited a similar toilet early this year outside Baltimore City schools headquarters on North Avenue and gave another to the American Visionary Art Museum.
Davis and a small group of supporters who attended the trial had expressed confidence that he would ultimately be acquitted.
Rob Fiks, a North Bethesda filmmaker working on a film about Davis, said he expects Davis will continue to place similar toilets around the Baltimore area.
"I guess it might be a matter of location, but as for him if he's found not guilty, I feel like he's gonna stay the same person," Fiks said. "That was the belief then and the belief now. I feel like he would do it again."