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Hearing dates set for three Explo officials

by Minden Press-Herald

Hearings on motions to throw out indictments against two Explo owners and a manager accused of unlawful and reckless storage of explosives and other crimes have been set.

Hearings for David Fincher, 68, of Burns, Tennessee, and David Smith, 61, of Winchester, Kentucky, will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in Webster Parish district court. William Terry Wright, 62, of Bossier City will appear at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 17.

A Webster Parish grand jury indicted the three, along with four other employees, in June 2013 on charges related to the October 2012 explosion that shook Camp Minden and the surrounding areas. The others pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses.

The explosion led to the discovery of more than 15 million pounds of M6 propellant improperly stored on the Explo property.

The explosives were stored in magazines before Explo, which leased space from the National Guard’s industrial site at Camp Minden, went bankrupt in August 2013 and abandoned the site.

About one-third of the propellant has been destroyed in a contained burn chamber that was built on site earlier this year at Camp Minden.

Fincher, Smith and Wright, along with Charles Callihan of Shreveport, and Kenneth Lampkin and Lionel Koons both of Haughton are facing federal charges related to the explosion after
a federal grand jury returned a 32-count indictment in August.

All six are charged with conspiracy. Callihan is also charged with one count of lying to a federal agency. The other five face six counts each of wire fraud and more than 20 counts each of making false statements.

A status conference on the federal cases will be held at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 before Magistrate Judge Mark L. Hornsby.

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