Skip to comments.Lawyer calls OU break-in 'stupid prank'
Posted on 11/09/2005 8:52:42 AM PST by LibertyRocks
NORMAN - Two men charged in Cleveland County with breaking into a University of Oklahoma room marked "biohazard" were involved in a "stupid prank" and not something more sinister, an attorney for one of the men said.
Christopher Thomas Boyce, 24, of Norman and James Kent Eldridge, 21, are both charged with felony counts of second-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. Eldridge is an OU junior from Oklahoma City studying in the College of Arts and Sciences, according to the OU Web site. Boyce was not listed as being enrolled at OU.
On Oct. 20, a woman told OU police she saw two men climb into an underground tunnel network about 2 a.m., Cleveland County District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said this week.
While the woman was talking to an officer, two men appeared near Richards Hall, a zoology building, and were arrested after the woman identified them, Kuykendall said.
Bolt-cutters had been used to open a hatch to the tunnel network, Kuykendall said. The men were charged Oct. 20.
Court papers claim Boyce took an empty vial from the building next to the OU Botany Microbiology building on Asp Avenue west of Gaylord Family -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
One of the men admitted they were interested in exploring the tunnels under the campus.
"We really can't say that all they were doing was exploring the tunnels, but there is no evidence it was any kind of act of terrorism," Kuykendall said. "You have to consider this due to the circumstances."
Kuykendall said he has been told by OU officials there were no biohazardous materials stored in the room.
Fred Shaeffer, a Norman attorney representing Eldridge, said OU students have been breaking into the tunnels for years.
"He (Eldridge) is just like all the other students for the last 30 years who have gone into the tunnels to explore," Shaeffer said. "He certainly is not a terrorist. It was a stupid student prank."
Shaeffer said the FBI has not been involved in the investigation.
Kuykendall said Boyce told authorities he is one of the founding members of the Norman area group known as the Greenbriar Collective, which practices organic gardening and operates a lending library in an east Norman house. The group also refurbishes and distributes old computers to people who need them.
John Rushton, a Greenbriar Collective member in Norman said, "Mister Boyce is our friend. We don't know the details of the case. We weren't with him that night, but they would not do anything to harm anyone."
Boyce's attorney, Joel Barr, said he wouldn't comment on the charges.
"We will be able to resolve this in the courtroom," Barr said.
OU spokesman Blake Rambo said OU officials are looking at ways to make the tunnels more secure.
"We're looking at any additional physical security measures. And as always, the tunnels and entryways to buildings are a focus of our OU police officers while they are on patrol."
I find the simple "exploring" defense hard to believe...
Hold my beer and watch this...
Ping for a new article regarding the Boyce/Eldridge case of the "stoppered vial". (No mention of the OUBombing in this article).
= NO PRANK
Hold my beer and watch this...
(second voice)I betcha won't sniff that vial.
Bombs and now this? What the hell is going on at OU?
NSS - Bat Boy - Urban Caving BUMP!!!
This explanation reminds me of all the times my students would say, "I was only joking!" when they said something rude to me or another student, or in fact, got caught doing virtually anything they thought they would get into trouble for. I told them that jokes were supposed to be funny, and I was the arbiter of funny in my classroom. If I found it not funny, it was not a joke, and they were in TROUBLE!
Not really. I have seen bolt cutters used to explore old mines etc.
What's the last thing a redneck says before he dies?
Hey y'all, watch this.
The other thread that you posted about this states that the Greenbriar Collective group was indeed questioned by the FBI.
That makes sense if it's old mines. There's always be the hope of coming away with something of value. I can't imagine that an old tunnel would provide the same incentive. The only reason to use an old tunnel the way I see it is to engage in illegal activity, like breaking into a building without being seen. Well, that could provide something of value also, but it just doesn't sound that innocent.
"Not really. I have seen bolt cutters used to explore old mines etc."
Their apparent destination was a storage room marked "biohazard," and they had a stoppered vial in their possession. This was no mere prank.
"The other thread that you posted about this states that the Greenbriar Collective group was indeed questioned by the FBI.
It would seem that the questioning by the FBI had nothing to do with this case. And perhaps had more to do with the OUBombing and/or some other threat... The questionings happened on Sept. 21 and another on or about October 21st. The second questioning was reportedly in regards to a tip that someone had seen "Hinrichs" moving boxes out of the house at some time.
This article also fails to mention the connection between John Rushton and the "Ruckus Society". They paint them as a peaceful, charity group instead of giving the whole picture.
I agree mostly with you. However, I knew of some folks who used abandonded missile sites for D&D parties.
Honestly, I don't know the motivation and I certainly DO NOT like the idea of a vial being taken.
Christopher Thomas Boyce? I wonder if he's related to Christopher Boyce of "The Falcon and the Snowman", son of an FBI agent who betrayed the US back in the mid-70's? He also later escaped jail for about a year or so, and was caught in Washington State/Oregon I believe. He was paroled in 2003.
There's nothing funny in a room marked "Biohazard."
Could this be a case of "tunnel vision"?
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