Prosecutors: Guns, body armor, ammunition also found in Bench home

Joshua J. Finch, whom prosecutors say had unspecified bomb-making materials in his home, is held on $1 million bond.

kterhune@idahostatesman.comNovember 7, 2013 

This story has a correction: A third party called police about an alleged kidnapping incident at the home of Joshua Finch — not the people who were kidnapped, as prosecutors said.

Joshua J. Finch allegedly held his girlfriend's parents in his house Monday night, telling them he had guns, body armor and explosives and would kill them and kill police officers if the parents called 911.

In court Thursday, prosecutors said Finch's girlfriend had called her mother and father earlier that day, telling them that he was stockpiling guns, ammunition and body armor, and that she was worried.

When her parents came to the West Dorian Street home to talk to Finch, he refused to let them leave, at one point grabbing the girlfriend's father by the shirt, prosecutors said.

Eventually, Finch released the pair, prosecutors said. A third party told police what had happened the next day, prompting Finch's Wednesday arrest and the discovery of what police say were bomb-making materials inside a crawl space of Finch's home on West Dorian Street. Police say they also found guns, ammunition and body armor.

Thursday afternoon, Boise police said the arrest marked the first use of a mine-resistant military surplus truck they received earlier this year. They chose to bring the vehicle to Finch's home because of the possible threat of explosives.

A similar vehicle given to Nampa's police department was also brought in. "The vehicles were strategically placed to provide a protective barricade for officers while confronting the suspect, and to protect the closest neighbors should a blast occur," a press release from BPD states.

It wasn't clear from Thursday's court testimony what, if anything, Finch intended to do with the firearms and explosives. Thursday, he remained charged only with kidnapping in state court. Police said Wednesday that federal prosecutors, among others, would review the evidence for possible additional charges.

Police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said that what Finch may have been planning is still under investigation. Police also have not elaborated on what bomb-making materials Finch supposedly had.

"What evidence was found out there, including substances, as well as potential motivations he may have had, will all go directly to potential additional charges," she said.

Police asked the residents of 21 homes in the area — southeast of Vista Avenue and Overland Road — to voluntarily evacuate while they examined the possible explosives Wednesday.

Thursday afternoon, police continued removing hazardous materials from the home and asked families in six to eight neighboring houses to again evacuate. Moving the volatile substances makes them dangerous, police said.

The additional materials were discovered last night, too late to safely extract them. Officers said they expect to finish by 4 p.m.

At Finch's Thursday arraignment in Ada County Fourth District Court, prosecutors asked Judge Cathleen Irby to set Finch's bond at $1 million in the case, citing his criminal past and the likelihood of additional charges. His criminal history includes convictions for battery, driving under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was charged with robbery and several other offenses in 2006 but pleaded the robbery down to aggravated assault, later violating his probation in that case twice.

The suspect's public defender asked for a lower bond of $50,000, stating that Finch is unemployed and supports two children.

But Irby agreed with prosecutors, calling Finch a danger to the community and to law enforcement. She also barred him from contacting his girlfriend, her children or her parents.

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