Wednesday, March 7, 2012
California Kook In Cannon Caper
Calif. woman dies when boyfriend's homemade cannon explodes
Michael Winter, USA TODAY
March 7, 2012
A 38-year-old woman inside a mobile home was killed early today by shrapnel from a homemade cannon that exploded when her boyfriend fired it, U-T San Diego reports.
The couple's 4-year-old daughter and three adults inside the trailer were not hurt. The woman's identify is being withheld until her family is notified.
Richard Fox, 39, told investigators he had loaded the makeshift cannon with gunpowder from fireworks before igniting it, said sheriff's Sgt. David Martinez. He was treated for shrapnel wounds to his right leg when the device, which was near the trailer in Potrero, east of San Diego, blew up just after midnight.
Fox was charged with willfully and maliciously exploding or igniting a destructive device or explosive causing death. Martinez said alcohol may have played a role. Fox was drunk as a skunk.
A friend and neighbor told U-T San Diego that Fox "liked experimenting with guns, and it looks like this experiment went bad." Fox apparently had the csnnon pointed at one end of the trailer where he lived with others, and the shrapnel went right through his trailer house.
Others said Fox was brain dead to begin with so no big loss but his girlfriend was nice and didn't deserve to be stuck with Fox.
The photo is not the actual homemade cannon used by Fox because it was blown to smithereens when it exploded. A distant cousin said Fox couldn't make a shoebox our of a shoebox.