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Fla. Man Charged in Pipe Bomb Blast

March 15, 2002

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) _ A man was charged Thursday with using a pipe bomb to blow up his ex-girlfriend’s car as she drove to work in the Florida Keys.

A judge ordered Gene Hodler, 66, to be detained until Tuesday, when he is due in court.

Evon Leach, 51, was driving to the nursing home where she works as a nurse when the bomb went off Feb. 27. Investigators suspect her turn signal ignited the bomb. Her legs and feet were severely injured in the blast.

Hodler faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted of using a bomb in a violent crime and illegally using a weapon of mass destruction.

Holder was convicted in 1994 of beating Leach. The couple have been fighting in court for two years over hundreds of thousands of dollars they amassed as day traders while living on a boat.

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