The former UNC student who was charged with trying to bomb the Davie Poplar tree in November 2017 was found not guilty on Feb. 13 by reason of insanity.
Joshua Edwards, 25, faced six felony charges for leaving a backpack containing an explosive device at the base of the tree. The backpack, and the guitar Edwards placed next to it, proceeded to catch fire, explode and injure a professor.
According to The News & Observer, Edwards’ attorney, Natasha Adams, used forensic evaluation to show Edwards was suffering from psychosis and was therefore “incapable of distinguishing right and wrong.”
UNC physics and astronomy professor Daniel Reichart, who tried to put out the fire the device had started at the tree, was injured when the device exploded, but said he considers himself fortunate.
“I suffered burns to over 10 percent of my body, but thanks to the quick actions of students who were there, emergency medical technicians, the doctors and nurses of UNC's burn center and Chancellor Folt — who called me within minutes of my arrival at the emergency room and personally made arrangements for my care — I am now back to normal,” Reichart said in a statement to the DTH.