Oak Creek bottle bomber sentenced to 18 months in community corrections
Steamboat Springs — A man who set off bottle bombs in Oak Creek in November has been sentenced to serve 18 months at Mesa County Community Corrections.
Joshua Benjamin Flaharty, now 26, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Shelley Hill. Once being released from community corrections, Flaharty also will be on intense supervised probation for three years.
Routt County Assistant District Attorney Han Ng had asked for Flaharty to be sentenced to three years in community corrections.
Oak Creek police and firefighters on Nov. 27 and 28 were called to dispose of the remains of four detonated bottle bombs that were found at a business and three residences in Oak Creek.
No one was hurt when the bombs exploded, and Flaharty said he never meant to hurt anyone.
“Someone could have been injured very seriously despite your intentions,” Hill said.
Flaharty was charged with felony possession of an incendiary device and misdemeanor reckless endangerment. As part of a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment.
To complicate Flaharty’s case, he had been on probation and had several other cases pending. Flaharty had failed to make court appearances, and he was arrested in March after a car chase resulted in him crashing his car on the east side of Hayden. He was charged with vehicular eluding.
Wednesday’s hearing included emotional statements from his mother and his attorney Leslie Goldstein.
Goldstein argued that probation was the appropriate sentence and that Flaharty suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
“I believe what we have is an individual that stopped taking his medication and, for lack of a better word, the wheels fell off for Mr. Flaharty,” Goldstein said.
Before being sentenced, Flaharty apologized for his actions.
“I’ve definitely learned a few things about myself and needing to stay on the proper medications and needing to stay around my parents,” Flaharty said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com
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