Sacto 9-1-1
July 26, 2013
UC Davis chemist offered to show lab mate how to build explosives

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

The former UC Davis chemist facing charges after a January blast in his apartment had offered to show a lab mate how to create explosives days beforehand, a police officer testified Friday.

David Snyder appeared in Yolo Superior Court for a preliminary hearing on 17 charges connected to an explosion that forced the evacuation of his Russell Park apartment complex in Davis and required response from Sacramento area bomb squads.

UC Davis police officer Joanne Zekany testified Friday that a student described a Jan. 9 incident when Snyder, technical manual in hand, offered to show how to make the explosive triacetone-triperoxide and called it "Hamas' favorite explosive."

Zekany said the student told her Snyder made the volatile mixture in tubes packed with dry ice, then said "not to tell anyone." Zekany testified that another student told her Snyder created hydrogen peroxide explosives in the lab.

Snyder's attorneys have portrayed the apartment explosion as an accident and described him as a tinkerer.

He received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis in 2004 and his doctorate there in 2011. In January, he was working in a campus laboratory on a two-month appointment.

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