SALEM, Ore. -- Opening arguments started Wednesday in the trial of a father-son duo for a deadly bank bombing in Woodburn that killed two police officers and severely injured a third.
Bruce and Joshua Turnidge are both charged with aggravated murder.
Joshua Turnidge first took the stand, his attorney argued Bruce was an anti-government zealot who by himself planted a bomb at Woodburn's West Coast Bank in December 2008.
Bruce Turnidge's lawyer countered, saying Joshua was a habitual liar and that he carried out the botched robbery alone. State prosecutors vowed to prove the two men worked as a team
Prosecutors say the father and son built a bomb and placed it outside of the West Coast Bank in Woodburn. On December 12, 2008 the device exploded, killing two police officers. A memorial now marks the scene of that tragedy.
At the Marion County Courthouse prosecutors described the pair as anti-government militiamen wannabes, experienced with explosives and compelled by the election of President Barack Obama to act out.
Prosecutor Katie Suver said Bruce Turnidge had tried to create his own militia and had told others that the Oklahoma City federal building bombing was a good thing that would keep the government in check.
Suver described in gory detail the carnage witnessed from the explosion after senior state trooper William Hakim tinkered with a strange green metal box discovered hours earlier at the bank.
Those in the courtroom appeared riveted by the opening remarks, listening to prosecutors describe how investigators quickly linked the bomb to the Turnidges through cell phone records and surveillance video.
Witnesses are expected to testify that father and son frequently spoke about robbing banks, and were setting up friends and family for an influx of cash by saying they had an investor who would be backing their struggling biodiesel and cell phone tower construction businesses.
Evidence seized at the farm included a piece of plywood bearing an outline of the off-square base of the metal box housing the bomb in spray paint that matches the light green color and chemical makeup of the paint used on the container, Suver said.
The court recessed at about 3 p.m.
The trial is expected to continue for 12-weeks.
KGW Reporters Randy Neves and Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report