LAPORTE – Two 16-year-old boys will not be charged as adults in connection with a sparkler bomb July 11 at the LaPorte County Fair.
La Porte County Prosecutor Bob Szilagyi said the crime under state statute did not qualify for an automatic waiver of the case into adult court.
The next option was to request a waiver of the case into adult court from a juvenile court magistrate.
However, the defendants do not have a criminal history, and since the boys have never been convicted of a crime, the case was not eligible for a juvenile magistrate to consider a waiver.
''We cannot request a waiver,'' he said.
One of the boys is charged with possession of a destructive device and the other juvenile is charged with manufacture of a destructive device, both Class C felonies.
Had they been charged as adults, each of the teens could have faced anywhere from a two- to eight-year prison sentence.
Punishment if convicted in juvenile court would not carry any jail time but could vary from home detention to boys’ school, said Szilagyi.
Officers acting on a tip recovered the sparkler bomb from inside a backpack one of the boys was wearing.
According to police, the device was taken away from the populated area of the fairgrounds and dismantled.
Police said the device was made of sparklers, firecrackers and bottle rockets wrapped in duct tape.
Such a device is potentially deadly from the pressure that builds up inside the tape as the fireworks start going off.
According to police, one of the boys made the device while the other was taking the sparkler bomb to the fairgrounds to detonate near the carnival rides.
Police do not believe their intentions were to harm or maim anyone.