Leon Nepper, photographed by the News in 2013, has been arrested by Whitehorse RCMP in connection to a targeted mail bomb incident in Port Alice, B.C., on Sept. 11. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Yukon suspect in B.C. mail bombing makes court appearance

Whitehorse man, Leon Nepper, faces charges related to a mail bomb sent to a Port Alice home Sept. 11

A Whitehorse man charged with allegedly mailing an exploding package to his brother in Port Alice, B.C., last week made another brief appearance in territorial court the afternoon of Sept. 17.

Leon Nepper, 73, was arrested at an apartment building at Fourth Avenue and Lambert Street on Sept. 13 and charged with one count each of sending an improvised explosive device to someone with the intent of causing bodily harm and unlawful possession of an explosive substance.

The charges are related to an incident where Nepper’s brother, Roger, and his brother’s wife, Shirley Bowick, were injured after a package delivered to their Port Alice home on Sept. 11 exploded. Roger received serious but non-life-threatening injuries from the explosion while his wife received minor burns.

According to court documents, Nepper allegedly sent the package around Aug. 14. The charge of unlawful possession of an explosive substance is dated around Sept. 13 — the day of Nepper’s arrest.

Nepper made his first appearance in court Sept. 14.

Wearing a loose grey sweatshirt, Nepper appeared frail during his Sept. 17 appearance before territorial judge Karen Ruddy, walking slowly into the prisoner’s box and gripping the door for support as he sat down.

Crown attorney Ludovic Gouaillier quickly asked for the matter to be adjourned for another three days. The case was becoming “more complex for many reasons,” Gouaillier said, in part because the investigation is now a “trans-jurisdictional matter” with authorities in both British Columbia and the Yukon working on it.

Gouaillier hinted that “more serious charges” may be laid in the future, but said that, at the moment, investigators are still working on gathering and sharing evidence.

Nepper’s lawyer, Robert Dick, said he had no objection to an adjournment, adding that he would have asked for one anyway to prepare for Nepper’s bail application.

Nepper was returned to custody and is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 20.

The News profiled Nepper in 2013. At the time, his home in Tagish had burned down and he told the News that he couldn’t afford to rebuild it. instead, he said he was going to stay with his brother and sister-in-law on Vancouver Island.

With files from Black Press

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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