Clayton Alexander McCoy: Ohio man who tried to kill love rival with gift-wrapped BOMB pleads guilty

Clayton Alexander McCoy: Ohio man who tried to kill love rival with gift-wrapped BOMB pleads guilty
Clayton Alexander McCoy is a registered sex offender (Mahoning County Sheriff's Office)

CHESTERLAND, OHIO: An Ohio cosplayer and registered sex offender pled guilty on Wednesday, October 12, for planting a bomb at a romantic rival’s house in Maryland. According to a federal criminal complaint, on October 30, 2020, Clayton Alexander McCoy, 32, who lived with his mother, drove more than 350 miles to plant a package bomb on the victim’s front porch. It caused more than $45,000 in damage to the home and nearly killed the recipient. 

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The victim, who is identified as NK in the court documents, suffered grave injuries. He and his girlfriend, identified as SB, were members of the "Dagorhir" gaming community along with McCoy. The game is described as "a live-action roleplaying (LARP) battle game" which also involves medieval costumes and mock combat with prop weapons. McCoy confessed his romantic feelings to SB after he approached her on Discord. According to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, McCoy gift-wrapped his home-built bomb and dropped it off at NK's doorstep. 

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Before making the bomb, he did some research and bought the necessary raw materials in cash from multiple stores. He built a package bomb and placed it inside a shipping box. Prosecutors claimed that he then drove it to the victim's house himself. NK's grandfather found it on his front porch and brought it inside, seeing it was addressed to NK. The victim opened the box after he returned from work. He found another smaller box inside the ribbon-wrapped package. He heard a whistling sound while opening it and the bomb exploded in front of him immediately. "The victim was struck in the front of his body by shrapnel and sustained injuries to his chest, legs, and front of his body," the US attorney’s office said in a statement. "He was transported to the hospital where he was treated for injuries caused by the shrapnel and explosion."

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The explosion made the house "uninhabitable" for five months and cost the insurance company over $70,000, prosecutors said. NK had to spend almost three weeks in hospitals, where he had to undergo several emergency surgeries to remove shrapnel, besides having to reconstruct his hand. He had to use a walker for another 14 days, and still has bits of metal embedded in his body, prosecutors claimed. According to the complaint, McCoy cut up metal into small triangular pieces to use as shrapnel while preparing the bomb. 

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Investigators recovered DNA evidence from the package and used cellphone data to trace McCoy’s route to the victim’s house on the day of the attack. A neighbor's Nest doorbell camera captured a truck similar to McCoy’s around the time the box was dropped off. 

According to the court documents, in 2013, McCoy was convicted of pandering obscenity involving a minor and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was placed on Ohio’s sex offender registry. He now faces 20 years in prison for transporting explosives with intent to injure and 10 years for possession of an unregistered explosive device. 

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