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Man charged in suspicious-device case

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Authorities were working to determine how best to proceed in a criminal case against a Stockbridge man, after a suspicious device was reportedly found in his foreclosed home last week.

William Kent King, 55, is charged with possession of a destructive device. He was being held in the Henry County Jail on $2,500 bond, and on a probation hold, according to jail records.

King appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Saturday, represented by the Public Defender's Office. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the case, and Judge David Brown bound the charge over to Superior Court.

King was originally charged with the manufacture and possession of a hoax device. Henry County sheriff's deputies found what authorities said appeared to be an explosive device Friday at his home on Bryan's Path in Stockbridge.

Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said deputies located the device before an eviction company was scheduled to arrive at the house.

"If the eviction company had handled it, and [the device] was real, they would have been seriously injured, or killed," McBrayer said. "We think the damage would have been limited to the house, or part of the house."

The sheriff said changing the charge against King takes the case against him to a "more severe level."

Brown said, "There was enough evidence to change the charge."

A bomb-disposal unit from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation removed the device from the home, and neutralized it in order to begin determining its contents, a bomb technician with the agency said Friday.

Receiving those results could take two to three weeks, according to Henry County Sheriff's Maj. David Foster.

"Once we learn the components from the lab, we'll have a better understanding of where [King] may have come across those components," Foster said.

King, Foster said, has "refused to make any comments concerning the device."

"He has not given any statements to us, one way or the other," Foster said.

Public Defender Gary Bowman could not be reached for comment on the case Monday.