(Durham-AP) May 11, 2006 - Otis Cecil Wilkins says he was trying to blow up a beaver dam and not his estranged girlfriend.
His attorney says an ash from his cigarette fell onto the fuse attached to the homemade bomb and ignited it. That set his shorts on fire and sent Wilkins to the hospital.
Instead of facing a charge of attempted first-degree murder, Wilkins pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. One count involved the ex-girlfriend, and two counts involved other people who were near the explosion, including the woman's 3-year-old granddaughter.
Public Defender Lawrence Campbell said Wilkins' target was a nearby beaver dam that blocked a waterway. Sheriff's deputies say Wilkins threatened the woman, then lobbed the bomb at his girlfriend's Oldsmobile in Rougemont as she drove into her yard.
Witnesses say it exploded in a large fireball when Wilkins threw it. The bottle rolled back toward Wilkins and ignited his shorts.