PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) – On Wednesday, federal court documents revealed that Michael Seabrooke, the suspect accused of setting pipe bombs that detonated outside a Pickens County courthouse, admitted to placing those bombs and placing other destructive devices on the Pickens County DSS building.
The suspect, Michael Seabrooke, appeared in federal court for an initial hearing on Wednesday. He was charged with possession of destructive devices not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
After that hearing, the arrest warrant affidavit was released, which stated when Seabrooke was questioned by the FBI and ATF, he confessed to placing the bombs at the courthouse and also reported he threw several destructive devices on the roof of the Pickens County DSS building.
The arrest warrant affidavit went on to detail that the two pipe bombs that detonated at the Pickens County courthouse were attached to a propane cylinder using a belt. The report states the valve on the propane cylinder was left in the open position, but luckily it did not ignite when the bombs went off.
Police used surveillance video to identify the truck that Seabrooke was allegedly driving. After tracing the truck back to it's owner, who said Seabrooke had possession of for the past month, the vehicle was searched with consent. Police say two more pipe bombs and and two molotov cocktails were found inside the truck, along with plastic wrap consistent with those found on the devices on top of the county's DSS building.
DEVICES FOUND ON DSS BUILDING
A spokesperson for South Carolina’s Department of Social Services said the Pickens County office was evacuated Tuesday morning after suspicious packages were discovered there.
The suspicious packages were discovered on the roof of the building on McDaniel Avenue after someone saw debris.
All employees were evacuated while police investigated. The employees briefly evacuated to the parking lot of a nearby church before moving elsewhere.
The Anderson County Sheriff's Office's bomb unit was called to assist in the investigation.
Seabrooke was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Columbia, the US Attorney's Office said.
There is no word on a motive for the bombing attempts.
Federal court records show that Seabrooke filed a handwritten lawsuit against the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center, including the sheriff’s office and the jail, as well as the solicitor’s office, last year.
The suit included a long list of accusations against those agencies, ranging from denial of right to due process to complaints about jail conditions.
The lawsuit included several “inmate grievance forms” from 2017 and 2018 including allegations that he was denied medical care in a situation with a broken tooth. He also cited concerns about mold and overcrowding at the Pickens County Detention Center, where he claimed he was housed in an unsafe environment, had to sleep on the floor, and feared for his life.
That lawsuit was dismissed on July 1.
Seabrooke has a lengthy criminal history.
His arrest history includes charges of criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, receiving stolen goods, possession of marijuana, driving under suspension, burglary, stalking, and assault and battery.
He has been arrested across the state, with charges from Pickens County, Anderson County, Barnwell County, Fairfield County, and Charleston County.
An incident report from Fairfield County revealed Barnwell was charged with criminal sexual conduct in 2016 after a girl reported to police that Barnwell sexually assaulted her during a camping trip.
Seabrooke will be back in court on Monday for a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing on the federal charge, during which the US Attorney's Office will ask the court to deny bond.
In the meantime, Seabrooke will be held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.
The following agencies are all involved in the investigation: ATF, FBI, JTTF, City of Pickens Police Department, City of Pickens Fire Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.