By Jonathan Kaminsky
OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A fireworks vendor from Washington state is accused of strapping a homemade bomb to a dog's neck and detonating it and will face animal cruelty and explosives charges, prosecutors said on Thursday.
Christopher Dillingham, 45, was arrested early Sunday morning at his home in the small town of Stevenson on suspicion of having killed his daughter's yellow Labrador Retriever with an explosive device.
According to charging documents, Dillingham told Skamania County sheriff's deputies that he believed the dog "had the devil in it."
Prosecutors on Monday charged Dillingham with one felony count of possession of a bomb with intent to use it for an unlawful purpose and two gross misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment. The charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Skamania County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Kick said Dillingham would also be charged with animal cruelty, and would be arraigned next week. Dillingham is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
When authorities arrived at his home after responding to emergency calls from members of his family, they found Dillingham muttering to himself and emptying his house of metal, the charging papers said.
Dillingham told authorities he made the bomb out of explosive powder from fireworks and placed it around the dog's neck. He said he distracted the dog by feeding it treats and detonated the bomb from behind a wall, the charging papers said.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Stacey Joyce)