UPDATED 3 P.M. WITH REACTION FROM RODY AND TRIMBLE’S LAWYER
UPDATED 5:30P.M. WITH TRIMBLE’S RELEASE
Virginia Tech football players Brian Rody and Joshua Trimble were arrested Sunday night for creating/using a bomb or explosive, according to Montgomery County (Va.) General District court online records.
Lt. Steve Taylor, a Blacksburg police spokesman, said the object in question was an actual explosive device and not fireworks.
Rody, a walk-on quarterback from Stone Bridge High in Ashburn, and Trimble, a walk-on linebacker from Ashburn who attended O’Connell High, were released on his own recognizance. Both were given $2,500 secured bonds.
The incident involved a small explosive device that was detonated Sunday night near the 1600 block of Patrick Henry Drive in Blacksburg, Va. Nobody was injured, according to a Blacksburg police department news release.
Jimmy Turk, the attorney for Rody and Trimble, said Monday afternoon that this incident was a prank gone bad. Rody and Trimble put aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner into a soda bottle and left it outside someone else’s apartment.
“It goes ‘Boom,’ blows up and made a loud noise,” Turk said. “They went back to their apartmnent and were laughing about it. They certainly did not have any idea that it would be anything at all that would constitute a felony charge being brought.”
Turk expects the the charges will be dropped to a misdemeanor in court once Rody and Trimble go through their preliminary hearing next month. But because both Rody and Trimble are facing a Class 5 felony, they have been indefinitely suspended from the football team until the charge is resolved, according to University policy. If convicted of a felony, they would be kicked off the football team permanently.
In Virginia, the punishment for a Class 5 felony is described as “a term of imprisonment no less than one year nor more than 10 years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.”
Rody and Trimble are scheduled to have preliminary hearings on January 24 and it appears unlikely they will be available when Virginia Tech takes on Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando on Dec. 28. Neither is listed on Virginia Tech’s online football roster anymore.
Rody and Trimble are both redshirt freshmen. Rody did not appear in any games this season. But Trimble, an honorable mention All-Met at O’Connell under his late father, Coach Steve Trimble, had emerged as a valuable special teams weapon for the Hokies. He had 13 tackles over the course of 11 games.
This is the second straight season the lead up to Virginia Tech’s bowl game has been marred by an off-field incident. Last year, place kicker Cody Journell was arrested on felony breaking and entering charges and did not play in the Sugar Bowl. He later had the charge dropped to misdemeanor trespassing and rejoined the Hokies for the 2012 season.