Colorado Mills Borders bookstore bomber gets lesser sentence after helping cops, prosecutors

David Lawless strikes plea bargain

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - The man who admitted setting off explosive devices at the Borders bookstore at Colorado Mills last year is getting a reduced sentence for helping police and prosecutors.

David Joseph Lawless told investigators that in June 2011 he broke into the Borders store, put three homemade explosive devices inside and outside and lit the devices so they would detonate, prosecutors said. Of the two crude bombs fashioned from propane tanks placed inside the store-- one exploded causing little damage. The second did not explode and a third propane tank planted outside the store failed to ignite.

Lawless was arrested later that same day on suspicion of DUI and felony menacing in Clear Creek County.

The vehicle Lawless was driving matched the dark Toyota Tacoma seen on surveillance camera videos taken at the Colorado Mills area at the time of the incident, the criminal complaint said.

Lawless also had an injury to his hand, which was consistent with the injury to the person who broke into the Borders bookstore shattering the front glass window.

There was another explosive device in Lawless', as well as components for the devices at his home.  Investigators also determined that Lawless researched how to make the devices on the internet from a computer at his home.

In federal court Thursday, the U.S. attorney said Lawless was supplying them with information about a marijuana distribution situation. Prosecutors said the information was valuable enough to ask for a one-third reduction in Lawless' sentencing for the bombing.

Instead of 30 years, Lawless was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

 According to the plea deal, Lawless also confessed to planting a similar device at a Denver restaurant the day before.

In 2005, Lawless pleaded guilty to explosive possession charges after setting off a homemade bomb -- dry ice mixed with water in a soda bottle -- outside Shotgun Willie's strip club in Glendale, according to court records.

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