SANTA ANA (FOX 11 / CNS) - Federal prosecutors quietly dropped a criminal charge against the ex-boyfriend of the woman killed in an Aliso Viejo building explosion, saying in a weekend court filing that it's now unclear if items found at his Long Beach home can be considered destructive devices.
Stephen Beal, 59, was arrested May 16, the day after the explosion that killed Beal's business partner and former girlfriend, Ildiko Krajnyak, 48. Beal was not charged with causing the explosion. He was charged only with possession of an unregistered destructive device.
Beal was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an unregistered destructive device. According to a criminal complaint two improvised explosives devices, three firearms and parts were recovered from his Long Beach home.
He was never charged with causing the Aliso Viejo explosion.
Now prosecutors say it's unclear if the items found at his home could be considered destructive devices.
Neighbors are now hoping their neighbor's hobby and his ex-gf death are just a coincidence
"I think so, I hope so for the kids sake," said Don Westerhoff.
According to an earlier court affidavit, federal investigators searching Beal's home found a pair of pipe bombs and three firearms, none of which were registered.
But federal prosecutors filed a motion dated Saturday asking that the criminal complaint against Beal be dismissed.
"Further examination by the Federal Bureau of Investigation raises questions as to whether the devices meet the statutory definition for a 'destructive device' contain in'' federal law, according to the motion.
Beal had been jailed without bail. It was not immediately clear if he had been released.
Krajnyak was killed in the May 15 explosion that occurred when she opened a cardboard box inside the day spa she co-owned with Beal, Magya Kozmetika, on the first floor of a building at 11 Mareblu in Aliso Viejo. Two other women were seriously injured but survived.