SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man who was arrested on an explosives charge after a blast killed his former girlfriend last week at her day spa was ordered held without bail at a court appearance Monday.
Magistrate Judge Karen Scott denied a request from Stephen Beal’s attorney that he be released. She scheduled a preliminary hearing for Beal on May 31.
Stephen Beal, 59, is charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device that the FBI says was found at his home. He has not yet entered a plea to the charge and his lawyer has declined to comment.
Beal has not been charged with the May 15 blast that killed 48-year-old Ildiko Krajnyak when she opened up a cardboard box at the spa in the city of Aliso Viejo, about 50 miles (81 kilometers) south of Los Angeles.
Beal and Krajnyak met online in June 2016 and dated about a year and a half.
The romance cooled earlier this year after disputes over exclusivity and finances, FBI Special Agent Evan Jesch said in an affidavit last week.
Though their romance had ended, Beal and Krajnyak remained business partners.
Investigators searching Beal’s home in Long Beach say they found two improvised explosive devices, three firearms and more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of explosive material.
Beal, a model rocket hobbyist, told investigators he had not made any bombs and did not have material for an explosion as powerful as the one he saw in news coverage.
Krajnyak’s spa had just reopened when the blast rocked the two-story office building. Krajnyak was blown out of the building in the fiery explosion that shook the surrounding area and seriously injured two others.
Krajnyak was a mother of one and a cosmetologist who had just returned to California after visiting family in her native Hungary.
By MICHAEL BALSAMO
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