Jury convicts man who left explosive device at Longmeadow Jewish senior facility

Hampden County

BOSTON (WWLP) – An East Longmeadow man on trial for leaving an explosive device at a Longmeadow senior facility in April 2020 was convicted by a federal jury Tuesday. 

Photo: East Longmeadow Police Department

According to the Department of Justice, 37-year-old John Rathbun was convicted after a week-long trial, on one count of attempting to transport or receive explosive devices in interstate or foreign commerce with the knowledge or intent that the device will be used to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual or unlawfully to damage or destroy any building, vehicle or other real or personal property. 

The jury also convicted him on one count of attempting to maliciously damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property used in interstate or foreign commerce. 

A sentencing date has been set for November 12. 

A federal jury convicted Rathbun of making false statements to federal agents, but deadlocked on the arson counts back in November 2020, resulting in a re-trial, the court said.  

On the morning of April 20, 2020, Rathbun assembled and placed a lit homemade incendiary deceive outside the entrance of the Jewish Geriatric Services Lifecare, Inc., in Longmeadow. No one was hurt in the incident. 

According to investigators, the device consisted of a five-gallon Scepter fuel canister filled with gasoline and a Christian religious pamphlet as the wick. 

His DNA was found on the canister and pamphlet. 

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