Indianapolis Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possession of Destructive Device Used in Bridge Explosion Outside Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Wayne Turner, 58, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of an unregistered destructive device. Codefendant Isak Turner pleaded guilty to the same charge and was sentenced to 42 months in prison on February 16, 2022.
According to court documents, on December 20, 2019, Wayne, Isak and H.B., were at Wayne’s Indianapolis apartment near East Washington Street. Wayne assembled an improvised explosive device using various materials he kept at his apartment. Isak placed the explosive device in his backpack and the group traveled in H.B.’s car to Speedway, Indiana. They parked the car by the railroad tracks near the 1200 block of Olin Avenue, just south of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The group then walked to the railroad bridge over 16th Street towards the Speedway.
After they reached the bridge, Isak removed the device from the backpack asking H.B. to light it, but she refused. Instead, Isak ignited the device and threw it off the bridge. The device landed on the median of 16th Street and exploded. The destructive device caused a blast crater and visible damage to the railroad bridge and a bridge light fixture. The explosion and debris also damaged a vehicle passing under the bridge at the time, but the driver was unharmed.
Speedway Police Department officers responding to a report of an explosion observed Wayne, Isak, and H.B. walking on the bridge. Officers interviewed the group and executed a search warrant at Wayne’s apartment off East Washington Street. Investigators located materials used to make explosives inside Wayne’s apartment located in an occupied multi-unit building. Wayne and Isak were arrested. H.B. was not charged.
The device assembled by Wayne and ignited and thrown off the 16th Street bridge by Isak, is defined in the National Firearms Act as a destructive device. It was not registered to Wayne or Isak in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, as required by law.
Wayne was arrested and convicted in August 2016 of criminal recklessness in Marion County for similar conduct. On May 28, 2016, the night before the Indianapolis 500 race, Wayne detonated and threw an “M-80” style device over a fence onto Indianapolis Motor Speedway property sending people fleeing in panic.
Wayne set off a second explosive device, next to a barricade on Georgetown Road, again causing panic and flight among pedestrians at the scene. At the time of the 2016 arrest, officers found Wayne, apparently intoxicated, and in possession of at least eight cylindrical explosive devices with ignitable wicks.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Columbus Field Division; Chief Randal Taylor of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD); and Chief Charles Upchurch of the Speedway Police Department made the announcement.
ATF, IMPD and Speedway Police Department investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. As part of the sentence, Judge Hanlon ordered that Wayne and Isak Turner each be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following their release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney William McCoskey who prosecuted this case.