Two SBI agents injured during the incident
By Rick Curl
Dunn Daily Record
The man responsible for an explosion injuring two State Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad agents will serve up to two and a half years in state prison.
Sampson Superior Court Judge Henry L. Stevens IV accepted a plea bargain Tuesday, Jan. 4th sending Jimmy Allen Tyndall, 36, of Dunn to a minimum of one year, five months to two and a half years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections for one count of possessing a weapon of mass destruction, according to district attorney Ernie Lee.
As part of the plea deal, Tyndall was given two additional suspended sentences of two years, five months to two years, 10 months along with two years supervised probation once he is released for the remaining charges.
Tyndall admitted the weapons offenses resulted in serious injury to a law enforcement officer while engaged in their official duties. However, he continued to maintain he did not intend to hurt anyone.
The plea agreement stems from a July 2019 case that began with a traffic stop by Sampson County Sheriff’s Office deputies and resulted in serious injuries to the two SBI agents — Tim Luper and Brian Joy.
Around 1:52 p.m. on July 25, 2019, Deputy Patrick Snell of the SCSO stopped Tyndall, who was driving 66 mph in a 55 mph zone. Tyndall was unable to produce a license and registration at the time of the stop and instead handed Snell an ID card while acting nervously.
A K-9 unit was summoned to the scene and it was discovered Tyndall had an outstanding arrest warrant from Harnett County. The search by the K-9 and a search of Tyndall, resulted in the discovery of narcotics, drug paraphernalia and a metal cylinder that appeared to be consistent with a homemade explosive device, according to the district attorney’s office.
A subsequent search of Tyndall’s home later in the day led deputies to the discovery of materials used to make explosives and two explosive devices as well as a burn pile.
Luper and Joy were injured attempting to dispose of the materials when a large explosion took place. Joy suffered severe burns to his face, head and arms and was transported to the NC Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.
Luper received burns to his arms and shoulders.
Both agents have since recovered their injuries and remain with the SBI.
“I have personally worked with Special Agent Joy in the trial of a first-degree murder that occurred in Onslow County and he is an outstanding and dedicated special agent with the SBI,” Lee said. “I am thankful that both Luper and Joy have recovered from their injuries and are able to continue serve the citizens of North Carolina.”
Lee credited Sheriff Jimmy Thornton for his efforts and said the case was another reason traffic stops are an important tool for officers.
“Sheriff Jimmy Thornton diligently enforces the laws of this state and his deputies serve the citizens of Sampson County very well as demonstrated in this case,” Lee said. “Their vigilance may have prevented even more unnecessary injury that day. This case is an example of why traffic stops are a vital part of law enforcement. I appreciate these law enforcement officers that daily risk their own safety to protect the public.”