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Trial Ordered Over Booby-Trapped Lab

VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | NEWBURY PARK

July 01, 1998|CHRIS CHI

A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered a Newbury Park man to stand trial on charges he attempted to kill four police officers with a booby-trapped methamphetamine lab.

After two days of testimony from investigators, Judge Brian Back said prosecutors had provided substantial evidence to suggest Bradley Raville, 44, had rigged with explosives a shed behind his parents' Rudman Drive home. A trial date will be set July 14.

Raville faces 11 criminal charges, including four counts of attempted murder and separate counts of assault with a deadly weapon, setting a booby-trap and operating a methamphetamine lab. He faces a possible lifetime prison sentence, prosecutors said. The charges stem from the June 11 police search of the Ravilles' backyard.

Investigators said the trap consisted of a can of chemicals designed to explode when a door in the shed was opened. A detective who discovered the lab testified that he and three other investigators recognized the danger in time, and no explosion occurred.

Raville's attorney, Jorge Alvarado, raised questions about the accusations. He suggested that the manner in which the chemicals and equipment were placed could have resulted in a fire, but not a fatal explosion.

"This is not the powerful bomb they claim," Alvarado said after the hearing.

Raville was arrested two years ago in connection with the fatal shooting of Juan Elijio Carranza, a Lancaster tow-truck driver. Raville has maintained the shooting was in self-defense, and sheriff's officials have not been able to mount enough evidence to prove Carranza's death was a murder. No charges have been filed.

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