NOT A Hate Crime: Colorado Springs Bombing Targeted Tax Preparer, Not NAACP

Chuck Ross | Reporter

A bombing initially believed to have been a possible hate crime aimed at the Colorado Springs headquarters of the NAACP was actually carried out by a man upset at his accountant.

Police have arrested 44-year-old Thaddeus Murphy for the Jan. 6 pipe bomb explosion, which left minor damage on the side of a building housing both the NAACP office and a barbershop, CBS4 reports.

Murphy was interviewed by the FBI and ATF on Thursday and taken into custody after he admitted that he had targeted Steven Dehaven, an accountant who had prepared his taxes and had operated his business out of the same building Murphy targeted.

According to the charging affidavit, Murphy told authorities that “flipped out” because of financial problems and because he believed Dehaven had given him “the run around” on his taxes.

Murphy told agents that he build the pipe bomb in his garage, according to the affidavit.

When the bombing first occurred, the NAACP and numerous media outlets speculated that it was a race-based hate crime.

“While the NAACP is an organization revered by many, we understand that there is a small group of detractors that rail against our work and may not mean us well,” the civil rights organization said in a statement days after the explosion. “This minority has not and will not deter us. Whenever threatened, the NAACP doubles down for justice.”

Murphy has a criminal record that includes a 1989 burglary charge and a 1991 failure to appear charge.

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