Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Would-Be Dowling Monument Bomber Pleads Guilty

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on May 2, 2018

The Houston man arrested last summer for attempting to blow up the Dick Dowling monument near the Houston Zoo has pleaded guilty:

Shackled in an olive green jail uniform, Andrew C.E. Schneck, bent forward with his hands in handcuffs, pleaded guilty to willfully attempting to maliciously damage or destroy property in violation of federal law. A federal prosecutor dismissed a sentence enhancement, related to the harm an explosion could have caused, that could have allowed for a longer prison sentence.

The 26-year-old with a history of concocting homemade explosives told U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. he was pleading guilty voluntarily and understood he was giving up rights by doing so.

Then the judge asked him to explain his thinking at the time: “Mr. Schneck, I’d like you to tell the court what was going on that day?”

Explaining himself

Schneck paused for nearly a minute and then asked the judge to repeat the question.

He said,“Well uh … I … well, the material … I purchased the batteries and the timer myself from commercial sources. The explosive compound I manufactured myself.”

The look on the judge’s face appeared to indicate his answer wasn’t sufficient.

Schneck continued, saying, “The intent was to damage the statue significantly.”

After several minutes of questioning, the judge said he found Schneck capable of entering a plea. He faces five to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at his sentencing, which the judge set for June 22.

Outside the courtroom Schneck’s attorney Philip Hilder said, “He pleaded guilty because he recognizes his actions and accepts his responsibility and wishes to move on. He has some health issues that we are dealing with that contributed to the event.”

Schneck spent several months of his detention at an intensive inpatient program. He told the judge he is taking mood stabilizing medication under the direction of the detention facility.

Schneck graduated with a degree in chemistry from Austin College in Sherman and had a penchant for experiments, according to a source familiar with the case.

He was convicted in 2014 of storing explosives for which he earned five years of probation.

Following the 2017 attempted bombing in Hermann Park, agents returned to the neighborhood to search the home in Southhampton Place, near the Museum District, where Schneck lived with his parents.

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One Response

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  1. Msb said, on May 5, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Glad to hear this boy is getting treatment and will not be in a position to play with more deadly materials.
    There’s a discision to be had about monuments, but it doesn’t include blowing them up.


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