Man accused of throwing lit pipe bomb at 3 people in Marissa faces criminal charges

A 49-year-old man accused of throwing a lit pipe bomb at three people last month in Marissa is facing criminal charges.

On April 29, local law enforcement, Scott Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, a state bomb squad and the FBI responded to the South Marissa Trailer Park to close roads, evacuate trailers and neutralize the explosive device.

Marissa Police Chief Brian Sheridan said no one was injured.

Jim F. Lanier, of Marissa, was arrested May 1 and has since been charged with three counts of possession of an explosive or incendiary device, a Class 1 felony, in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

A May 4 order from Circuit Judge Robert Haida appointed the public defender’s office to represent Lanier in the case. A representative from the office said Tuesday they had not yet received the order, so an attorney had not been assigned to the case.

The police chief said three people confronted Lanier at the trailer park, believing he was a “suspicious individual.” The three did not know Lanier, according to Sheridan. He said authorities do not believe Lanier went to the trailer park to target them.

A Marissa police officer responded to the area in the 100 block of Hotz Street at about 2:50 a.m. to investigate.

The officer learned a confrontation occurred and found a cylinder wrapped in white tape in the street that was burnt on one end. It later was determined to be a pipe bomb, the Marissa Police Department wrote in a news release.

The Marissa Police Department conducted a joint investigation with the Illinois Secretary of State Police Hazardous Device Unit and the FBI. Sheridan said Tuesday the investigation was ongoing.

Lanier is being held in the St. Clair County Jail on a $90,000 bond awaiting a grand jury hearing. A hearing date had not been set as of Tuesday.