LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors move to drop charges Tuesday against a Southern California man was arrested on suspicion of having explosives after an explosion killed his ex-girlfriend at her day spa.
Court papers filed with the U. S. District Court said the material found during the search of Stephen Beal’s home in Long Beach may not meet the criteria to be considered a “destructive device.”
Beal was arrested during the investigation of the bombing that killed Ildiko Krajnyak on May 15 in her Orange County spa, but he was never named as a suspect in the blast.
Beal, a model rocket hobbyist, told investigators he had no bombs and had no material for an explosion as powerful as the one he saw in the news.
Beal, 59, was charged with a single count of possession of a non-destructive device. Prosecutors asked the court to drop the charge.
Beal and Krajnyak had recently divided over the issues of exclusivity and finance, he told investigators, according to a statement submitted to the court by an FBI agent. But they remained business partners.
Krajnyak, 48, was killed and two female clients were seriously injured when they opened a box that erupted in a fiery explosion at the spa in the city of Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles (81 km) south of Los Angeles, detectives said.
Krajnyak, a mother and a licensed cosmetologist, had just returned to California after visiting family in her native Hungary.
The researchers said they found two improvised explosive devices, three firearms and more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of explosive material in Beal’s house.
Beal’s son speculated on the time of the arrest that the researchers had discovered, rocket materials.
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.