Four teens accused of felony charges related to alleged pranks on friends in August have resolved their criminal cases through plea agreements with prosecutors. The story made headlines when one of the teens accused of engaging in a night of pranks involving so-called “MacGyver” bombs was identified as the Miss Riverton. She stepped down as Miss Riverton after prosecutors brought felony charges against her and three other teens.
Authorities had accused the four 18-year-old friends of creating devices using a household cleaning product and household tin foil. The devices have been dubbed “MacGyver” bombs by many over the years–named after a popular television series from the 1980s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tracked these kinds of devices since the mid-90s.
The four teens were each charged with felony possession of an explosive device offense after police claim that they were found with four bottles of the household cleaner and foil in August. That same evening, police say that a bottle was found on a driveway after the chemicals in the cleaning solution had reacted with the foil, creating an explosive effect. The teens each faced up to 15 years in prison if they had been convicted of the felony charges.
However, each of the teens entered a plea agreement, which reduced the charges to a misdemeanor level offense. What is more, each of the teens will have the opportunity to keep the issue off of their criminal records if they successfully complete the terms of probation.
Each of the teens entered into a plea in abeyance agreement. A plea in abeyance is a complicated process available under Utah law. Essentially, a person enters a guilty plea, or may plead no contest to charges, and has the plea entered in abeyance through the court. If the person completes the terms and conditions of the plea in abeyance the charge is dismissed after successful completion of probation.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, “Former Utah beauty queen settles bomb case,” Marissa Lang, Sept. 26, 2013