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Stephen Beal, Aliso Viejo Explosion Victim's Ex-Boyfriend, Charged With Possession Of Explosives

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Stephen Beal was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device. In this photo, a view from behind the witness stand looks toward the gallery in courtroom #8, which will be full of prospective jury candidates, one day before jury selection begins for the Michael Jackson child molestation trial at the Superior Court of California courthouse in Santa Maria, California, Jan. 30, 2005. Photo: Getty Images/ Spencer Weiner-Pool

By Pritha Paul, International Business Times - Business

In the latest development in the Aliso Viejo explosion in Southern California, which killed spa owner Ildiko Krajnyak on May 15, the victim’s ex-boyfriend and business partner, Stephen Beal, was charged before the court Thursday.

In connection with the probe into the blast, the FBI obtained a search warrant to raid Beal’s home, during which they found two completed seven-foot-tall rockets, rocket-making equipment, two containers of potassium perchlorate, two containers of red gum (used as a fuel and binder in fireworks) and at least three containers of black powder used to make bombs. He was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Although Beal shared a previous relationship with the victim, he was not named a suspect in the California bombing, which was later discovered to be intentional by the police.

Attempting to explain why the police might have discovered bomb-making ingredients in his home, Beal said he was a “bottle rocket hobbyist.” This claim was backed by one of the neighbors.

"We've seen him make rockets and we know he used to go out to the desert to fire off the rockets," neighbor Mushroom Montoya told CBS News.

However, Beal said he stopped pursuing this hobby in 2014. He also confessed before the court he had made a smaller device to assist neighbors with a gopher problem. A handwritten note from one of the FBI agents was presented before the court, which said devices at Beal’s home were “not consistent with that of a model rocket.”

Beal, who is an actor by profession, also added he did not have enough materials to device a bomb that could have caused the explosion that killed his ex-girlfriend.

Beal and Krajnyak had met online in June 2016 and began dating. However, their relationship came to an end in February or March 2018 due to “disputes over exclusivity of the relationship and financial issues.” Beal still had pictures of the pair vacationing together on his Facebook page, and a neighbor told Patch he looked dejected over a recent breakup.

Beal’s website said he was an “executive consultant, husband and father before returning to pursuing acting full time.” He also enjoys performing magic shows. Neighbors described him as a father of four who mostly kept to himself.

One of the neighbors also said Beal’s first wife died of mysterious circumstances in 2008. In a freak accident, the two were moving a heavy furniture when Beal lost his grip and fatally injured his wife.

“That was the word in the neighborhood,” the neighbor told local newspaper the Orange County Register.

No evidence of foul play was detected, according to the coroner’s report, which said the cause of death was “undetermined,” and mentioned a host of causes such as “pancreatitis, electrolyte imbalance and other undetermined factors.” “Chronic lead intoxication” was also among the probable causes listed.

Beal proved his wife died from traumatic pancreatitis after falling down a flight of stairs while carrying a 49-pound end-table in 2010, which led him to win $500,000 settlement from American International Life Assurance Company of New York.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Stephen Beal, Aliso Viejo Explosion Victim's Ex-Boyfriend, Charged With Possession Of Explosives
Stephen Beal, Aliso Viejo Explosion Victim's Ex-Boyfriend, Charged With Possession Of Explosives
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