Couple facing explosives, child endangerment charges after blast at Blaine apartment
Two people are now facing criminal charges in connection to an explosion at a Blaine apartment earlier this year.
The explosion happened back in March at Cedar Green Apartments and left two people hospitalized.
Those two people are now charged with building an explosive that went off while they and a child were inside the apartment.
Lee John Boatner, 28, and Tayler Ann Boatner, 27, are each charged with discharging an explosive, possessing an explosive and child endangerment. Additionally, Lee Boatner is facing a first-degree arson charge.
Blaine police were called to Cedar Green Apartments at around 1:15 a.m. on March 3 on a possible explosion and injured people. There, officers found Lee Boatner in the building’s lobby.
Court documents state that Boatner was “covered in blood and appeared to be missing parts of both of his hands.” After helping him, bomb squad and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) agents arrived and searched the Boatners’ apartment unit.
A criminal complaint states that agents found a substance that later tested positive for the explosive compound known as triacetone triperoxide, or TATP. They determined that a large explosion likely happened in the master bedroom and found that the Boatners had all of the precursors needed to make TATP. A search of their laptop later showed a bookmark with information on how to make TATP.
Investigators also saw search history on the laptop from two months earlier that included “Blaine water table”, “poisoning ground water”, “Anoka county gis sewer”, “[M]inneapolis interceptor drain”, and “Buried Exolosion” according to the criminal complaint.
Their son, who was 2 at the time, was in a different room of the apartment when the explosion happened but wasn’t hurt. Tayler Boatner had a bloodied and cut face when police found her, and the complaint states that a bone fragment from Lee Boatner was removed from her head.
Authorities found blood spatter all over the master bedroom, the window was shattered, blinds had holes and a haze that smelled of a battery covered the apartment, the complaint adds. However, bomb squad members noted there wasn’t any evidence of a battery exploding and the damage wasn’t consistent with a battery explosion.
Tayler Boatner told police that Lee Boatner liked to “fix” things with their son and had been recently laid off from his job as a solar electrician. However, she didn’t directly answer questions about explosives, according to court documents.
While no other units in the apartment complex were damaged by the explosion, court documents state that another resident’s vehicle was damaged by chemicals and debris that were blown out of the bedroom window. That damage was estimated to cost around $5,000 to repair.
The Boatners aren’t currently in custody and their first court appearances haven’t yet been set.
Child endangerment carries up to a year in prison but the other charges have larger penalties, if convicted. Possession of an explosive carries up to 10 years in prison while discharging an explosive and first-degree arson each carry up to 20 years in prison.