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Bomb materials, ammo found at home of Nev. man accused of killing wife, shooting judge

The Associated Press

RENO, Nevada- Police found bomb materials and ammunition in the bedroom of a man accused of killing his estranged wife and shooting a family court judge, according to court documents.

The FBI on Tuesday added Darren Mack to its list of "Most Wanted" fugitives. Mack disappeared after the June 12 stabbing of his wife and shooting of Judge Chuck Weller, who was hit by sniper fire as he stood near his office window.

Weller, who had been handling the couple's divorce case, survived the attack.

Mack, 45, was charged the next day with murder in the death of Charla Mack, 39.

A search warrant affidavit said officers found several boxes of ammunition and an empty gun case with a receipt for a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle equipped with a laser sighting device, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported Tuesday. Authorities also found explosive materials commonly used to make bombs, the affidavit said.

Officers discovered notes and printed material that "contain allegations that Judge Weller was corrupt and had exhibited favoritism in his rulings," according to the search warrant affidavit.

A witness told police that Mack "discussed hiring him to follow Judge Weller in the hope of proving that he was corrupt," Detective David Jenkins said in the affidavit.

"That same witness described Mr. Darren Roy Mack as seeming to him to have been 'at the end of his rope' and extremely frustrated and angry with both his estranged wife and Judge Weller," he said.

Mack was a co-owner of Palace Jewelry & Loan Co. Inc., a pawn shop, until he turned over control in 2005 to his mother, a lawyer for the business said. Mack earned more than $500,000 (euro398,533) a year and had a net worth of $9.4 million (euro7.5 million) as recently as 2004, according to court documents.

Shawn Meador, Charla Mack's lawyer, said in a court filing that Mack ignored Weller's order in May 2005 to pay $10,000 (euro7,970) a month in temporary alimony payments. Weller found him in contempt of court, but Mack filed for personal bankruptcy in August to avoid paying, according to the filing.

A private funeral was held Tuesday for Charla Mack. Mourners included the mothers of both the victim and her husband.

"I really think the important thing now is to find Darren but not to have all this vengefulness," Soorya Townley, the slain woman's mother, told a Reno TV station Monday. "I don't think Charla really would have wanted that."


On the Net:

FBI Most Wanted: http://www.fbi.gov/wanted.htm

See related:

Judge shot in Nev. courthouse; SWAT moves in

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