Man accused of chemical bombing had books on revenge, explosives

Man accused of chemical bombing had books on revenge, explosives

CREATED May 20, 2011

Reporter: Sergio Avila
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Friday, a judge is expected to decide whether a well-known Tucson businessman will remain in jail after being charged with making chemical explosives. On Thursday, federal prosecutors released explosive new details about the case involving Todd Fries--AKA Todd Burns--owner of Burns Power Washing in Tucson.

Prosecutors believe Fries detonated a chemical bomb at the home of Myles and Karen Levine in 2009. They spent Thursday trying to convince the judge that Fries is a danger to the community and that he shouldn't be released from jail.

During the 2009 incident several chlorine bombs went off around the Levine home.  Doors were sealed and there were feces and dead animals in their front and back yards. The Levines were in court for the hearing and told 9 On Your Side they've been afraid since the attack.

"We've been hiding out for two years. My neighbors don't even know who I am. They don't know our names, they don't know anything and I have to keep it that way," Myles Levine said.

Federal prosecutors believe Fries may also have been involved in two other incidents--one that happened in 2008 to the Levines in a different home and another that happened just two weeks ago on April 28th.

In all three cases feces, dead animals, and picture identifications were found around the homes. FBI agents testified the owners of those IDs all reported having had the documents stolen several months before each incident.

KGUN9 News tried to speak to Fries' attorney Richard Bock but he declined saying he doesn't comment on pending matters.  Fries' family was also in the courtroom and also declined an interview.

During the hearing Bock argued Fries should be released from prison because he's an accomplished businessman in Tucson with many ties to the community.  Fries, who also goes by the name Todd Burns, owns Burns Power Washing. A television ad where he flies off in a helicopter has become synonymous with his company.

The defense also argues fingerprints found at the scene belonging to Fries could have ended up there because he had recently done work for the three victims involved.  Prosecutors told the judge Fries was getting revenge on the Levines and the latest victim. The  victims had hired Fries and told FBI agents they weren't happy with the work that was done.

FBI agents also testified about finding explosives in Fries' home after they arrested him last week. They also discovered 37 firearms including, rifles, handguns and pellet guns. Bock objected to allowing the weapons into testimony because many people have guns. Prosecutors successfully argued the weapons demonstrate why they think Fries could be dangerous.

Prosecutors are also concerned about Fries' reading material, they testified about finding books with titles like "The Anarchist Cookbook" and other how-to books on getting revenge. One book even had a recipe for an explosive similar to one that had been found.

FBI agents also interviewed one of Fries' employees. They asked whether Fries ever asked him to something that made him feel uncomfortable. That employee answered yes and told agents Fries had asked him to defecate into a bucket to supposedly get back at a woman who hadn't paid him for work.  The defense countered that argument by saying it was just a joke.

Myles Levine isn't laughing.  He said he feels keeping Fries in prison is best for everyone.

"I still think he's dangerous to the community. He's done it to us and just to us alone he's endangered the whole community near where we lived. Yet alone doing it again. I think he's still very dangerous," Levine said.

Because there was so much evidence presented Thursday the hearing was not complete. Court will reconvene Friday to determine if Fries will be released.