Prosecutors offer new details in February pipe bomb discovery in Gloversville


GLOVERSILLE – A new prosecution filing sheds more light on the discovery of pipe bombs inside a Gloversville residence during the search for a potentially suicidal man in February.

Investigators had arrived at the 14 McLaren St. residence of Michael Darling Feb. 12 to check on his welfare. Two women who were family members expressed concern over text messages they’d received and had asked for Darling to be checked on.

At the residence, police encountered Darling’s then-girlfriend, who ultimately gave them permission to check the residence. When they arrived in an upstairs hallway, they saw a litter box that had “a pipe that appeared to resemble a pipe bomb body” sticking out of it, prosecutors wrote.

They then moved to a bedroom and saw packaging for a soldering iron in a garbage can, prosecutors wrote. In a closet, they saw what appeared to be empty rifle cases.

“They also observed an open cardboard box in which they could see what appeared potentially to be pipe bombs and pipe bomb components,” prosecutors wrote.

The other items and what appeared to be four 5-inch pipes capped at both ends with the fuse protruding from the ends of the pipes, prosecutors wrote. One of the officers had IED, or improvised explosive devices, training and recognized the devices as pipe bombs, prosecutors wrote.

They informed the Gloversville police lieutenant on the scene and “the decision was made to evacuate the house and that of nearby neighbors.”

Investigators eventually found Darling and arrested him. No one was hurt.

Darling, 41, was indicted in June on one count each of possession of firearms by a prohibited person and unlawful possession of unregistered firearms.

He is accused of illegally possessing a .308-caliber rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun and six pipe bombs. He’s been in custody since his February arrest and has pleaded not guilty.

The new prosecution filing came in response to a Darling defense attorney’s motion related to the evidence found in the house. The defense argued Darling’s girlfriend did not have the power to let officers inside and that the items were not in plain view.

Prosecutors argue she did and that the circumstances allowed them to look for Darling to check on his well-being. Once they spotted the items, they backed out and got full search warrants, prosecutors argue.

The trial is currently set in the case for October.

The pipe bomb case took on added significance at a Darling detention hearing held after his February arrest, where prosecutors revealed that Darling remains a person of interest in the Feb. 6, 2019 death of his wife, Kristine M. Howland Darling, 44, the mother of a teenage daughter, at her Fort Johnson residence. Police have labeled her death as suspicious. Darling contends that his wife committed suicide, but police are continuing to sort out the circumstances of her death.

The most recent prosecution filing included another apparent denial from Darling in the death of his wife. It came in a note police found at his residence.

Kristine Darling’s death involved a gunshot and has remained an active investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for more than two years. Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffery Smith in February called Darling a “person of interest” in the case. The department is working with state police on the investigation.

When police made their initial visit to Darling’s home, Darling’s girlfriend showed police paperwork in the home’s kitchen that appeared to be a suicide note or included language that he intended to harm himself, prosecutors wrote.

The envelope also included a note, prosecutors wrote, where Darling stated “I didn’t hurt my wife. I’m going to keep defending myself.”

Investigators later learned that Darling had left for North Carolina and returned on Feb. 14 and checked into St. Mary’s Hospital. Police arrested Darling that day.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

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