Comments Off on Explosives found in Rohnert Park Meth-using suspect’s vehicle

A bomb squad late Monday night blew up a small homemade explosive device and flammable liquids found in an SUV driven by a slain Rohnert Park homicide suspect, police reported Tuesday.

The device was made from black powder, a metal bandage container and a fuse. It and the liquids were destroyed at about 11 p.m. in a trench dug by police at the Rohnert Park sewage ponds, said Rohnert Park Public Safety Lt. Jeff Taylor.

Home of Dianne Hughes, where her son Dennis is suspected of bludgeoning her to death with a baseball bat.

They had been found in the back of a Toyota Highlander used by Dennis Hughes, 41, and were part of the ongoing investigation by Rohnert Park detectives into the bludgeoning death of the man’s mother, Dianne Hughes, 66.

The investigation shows that by the time he was shot to death last Wednesday night by a San Francisco police sharpshooter, Hughes had stockpiled two handguns, containers of gasoline in three locations and the rudimentary incendiary device, said Taylor.

“It looked like the beginning of a plan,” said Taylor.

Police say Dennis Hughes killed his mother, hitting her in the head with a wooden bat. Her body was found May 8 in her Rohnert Park home where she had lived for 38 years.

She had allowed her son to move in to the house in January, but he’d become a problem, keeping her awake at night, police said. She told family members she wanted him out.

Dennis Hughes was angry at being ordered to leave the Bernice Avenue residence, according to investigators.

Sometime after the Rohnert Park attack on his mother, he’d driven her SUV to San Francisco and checked into a motel near Geary and Market streets.

The night of May 9, Rohnert Park detectives found him at his girlfriend’s San Francisco apartment on Post Street.

With the arrival of police officers, Hughes holed up inside the third floor apartment, and began firing a gun through walls, the ceiling and the floor. He also started at least two fires.

Outside, police, fire and SWAT team members gathered and when San Francisco police officials gave the OK to kill Hughes, he was shot to death.

A search of the apartment and Hughes’ motel room revealed two gallons of gasoline, including some gasoline inside of a vodka bottle.

The Highlander was found parked at the motel and was towed back to Rohnert Park for further investigation.

The incendiary device was among the first things officers found during Monday night’s search. Detectives believe Hughes made it — putting black powder into a tin bandage box and adding a fuse.

With the discovery, officers backed away from the vehicle and cordoned it off from parking lot traffic, said Taylor.

They did not evacuate the police station, he said.

The Public Safety Department, which does not have a contract with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad, called for help from the Berkeley police bomb squad.

Bomb squad officers searched the car for other suspicious items. None were found. A search of the Bernice Avenue home did not turn up explosives, Taylor said.

Detectives also are awaiting toxicology results because Dennis Hughes was found with a quantity of methamphetamine, Taylor said.



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