Former photo shop owner calls pipe bomb arrest "surprising" - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Former photo shop owner calls pipe bomb arrest "surprising"

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Connie Hoagland Connie Hoagland
Larry Hoagland Larry Hoagland

SAN DIEGO (CNS and News 8) - The professional photographer who originally hired Larry Hoagland decades ago said he is stunned by his arrest on suspicion of trying to murder his wife.

"If I had a daughter, he's the kind of guy I'd like my daughter to marry," said Burton Nestor, who later sold his photography studio to Hoagland and his partners in the mid-1990s. "Now I wouldn't."

Hoagland's wife Connie was injured by a pipe bomb that detonated when she started her pickup truck outside the Rancho San Diego day-care center where she works was jailed Tuesday on suspicion of booby-trapping the vehicle in an attempt to kill her.

Hoagland, 48, was arrested shortly after midnight in the 3900 block of Hope Street, near the couple's Rolando home, sheriff's homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

"He was a really honorable person," added Nestor, who hired Hoagland right after he graduated from high school. "He was just a genuinely nice person, quiet, and minded his own business."

The businessman's 52-year-old wife, Connie, suffered serious burns, broken bones and other injuries Thursday afternoon when a homemade explosive detonated in, on or under her Ford F-150 in front of the Via Hacienda residential day-care center where she works, according to investigators.

"Since that time, investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies have uncovered evidence linking Mr. Hoagland to that attempt on his wife's life," Brugos said.

The lieutenant declined to elaborate on those findings, citing a need to "maintain the integrity of this ongoing investigation."

Lawrence Hoagland, who co-owns a Morena-area photography studio he bought from Nestor, was booked into county jail in downtown San Diego on suspicion of attempted murder. He was being held without bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The arrest in the case came a day after a FedEx package of party favors delivered to the Hoaglands' teenage son, Jonathan, at Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley prompted a campus lockdown and nearby road closures. The scare lasted for about four hours, until a bomb squad determined that the package was harmless.

Friends of the family told reporters the 10th-grader had been sent the box of supplies as part of a sanctioned school event he was organizing.


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