The man who detonated a pipe bomb in Sylva’s Walmart has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. The incident happened in 2007.
Larry Bowlsby, 49, of Warrenton, Missouri, pleaded guilty in October and was sentenced on Thursday.
A news release from the Department of Justice said filed court documents and Thursday’s sentencing hearing show that sometime before Sept. 26, 2007, Bowlsby built a pipe bomb. Court records indicate that on Sept. 26, 2007, Bowlsby and two minors entered the Walmart in Sylva, and once inside, Bowlsby placed the pipe bomb in the bag of one of the minors but removed it once he was inside the store.
The release said court records show Bowlsby took the cart and the pipe bomb to the camping supplies section of the store, where he placed it among the small propane cylinders for camp stoves, ignited the device and left the area. The device detonated and caused an explosion. Court records show five people were nearby when the device exploded and had to be taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Bowlsby and the two minors drove away in Bowlsby’s vehicle.
Authorities were also able to recover Bowlsby’s fingerprint from the shopping cart. Law enforcement ran the print against national databases in 2007 with no success. However, they ran it again in 2016, and the print matched Bowlsby, whose prints were put into the system after he was arrested in Colorado in 2008 and eventually pleaded guilty to charges.
Bowlsby is in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.