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Former UC Davis chemist sentenced for 2013 explosion at apartment

Former UC Davis chemist David Snyder has received a prison sentence of four years and four months for causing an explosion in a Davis apartment in January 2013.

Snyder received a split sentence, with two years and two months to be served in custody in Yolo County and the remaining two years and two months to be served under mandatory supervision, according to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office. Snyder also was ordered to pay a fine of $20,000. A hearing regarding restitution is set for Dec. 19.

Snyder pleaded no contest in September to explosives and weapons charges in connection with the explosion that occurred just after midnight Jan. 17, 2013, leaving Snyder bloodied and forcing evacuation of the Russell Park apartments as police and bomb squads converged on the complex.

Prosecutors later said Snyder, once honored as the university’s outstanding graduate student teacher, possessed nitroglycerine, RDX – the agent found in blasting caps and C-4 explosives – along with other materials.

Snyder also enlisted friend Tashari El-Sheikh, a postdoctoral student at the university, to dump chemicals in trash bins before police and explosives units arrived. A warrant was issued for El-Sheikh’s arrest, but he remains at large.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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