BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - A Nederland man is headed to trial in a case which literally sent shockwaves through the small mountain town last year as authorities detonated materials found inside his home.
Jason Korte's trial is now scheduled for April 2022. Friday, he pleaded not guilty to all 14 charges presented in court, including five counts of possessing an incendiary device and three counts of arson.
Local law officers showed up at Korte's home at 283 Alpine Drive on July 3, 2020, after receiving reports of an explosion. They found Korte and a woman standing in the driveway. Korte had burns on his face, arms and hand, according to the arrest affidavit obtained by CBS4.
Korte, 44, was later flown by medical helicopter to University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora for treatment of his injuries.
Meanwhile, officers noted damage to the residence: Two large first floor windows blown out (with smoke coming from one), a sliding glass door blown out and its frame buckled, and windows on the second floor blown out.
So began a multi-day investigation that involved search warrants, remote controlled robots removing chemicals from the residence, and a bomb squad's regular detonations of explosive material that heightened anxiety among neighbors.
"(Law enforcement) will do three short bursts of the air horn, and that lets us know to brace ourselves for an explosion," Stephen Fox told CBS4's Dillon Thomas at the time. "There have been several blasts. About one a day. It's loud."
"So, who else is tired of the explosions in town this week?," Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen wrote in a Facebook post to the community. "We want to know what is going on in the house. What are they finding that caused the explosion? Is there more still in the house? What are they destroying in the subsequent detonations that shake our homes? And, most importantly, is there any danger to anyone in town? I wish I could answer all those questions for you, but some can't be answered at this time. It's incredibly frustrating to live with this uncertainty...(but) we do know that the house now is no threat to the neighborhood. We're fortunate that the original explosion was as limited as it was."
According to the arrest affidavit, fire department and bomb squad personnel uncovered a bevy of materials and equipment. Among them, white plastic screw top bottles with labels including those reading Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate, Sodium Chloride; large commercial fireworks; an assembly of glassware including beakers, tubes, hot plates; one notebook containing a "pyro wish list" and another with "recipes" for making high explosives, including one for triacetone triperoxide (TA TP), which the documents notes is "an extremely volatile compound that becomes more volatile as it ages and can explode by being moved."
Investigators also found a supply of hash oil concentrate and the equipment to manufacture it, plus several firearms.
Child abuse charges were added to the case after Korte told investigators his children lived with him while he allegedly made explosives.
Korte told investigators he was not involved in the planting of explosive devices at the city's police department in 2016, and the charges in this case do not reflect any involvement with that case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted the Nederland Police Department, the Nederland Marshal's Office, the Nederland Fire Department, the Colorado Rangers, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office and the Boulder County Bomb Squad in the investigation.
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