Sussex man sentenced for making bombs at home

Multiple mental health issues cited

May 6, 2014

Anthony Haessly was sentenced last week in federal court to 46 months in prison for building explosive devices at his Champeny Court apartment in Sussex last fall.

The sentence will run consecutively to a five-year prison sentence Haessly is expected to serve for violating the terms of his probation in a 2010 Waukesha County Circuit Court case.

Haessly pleaded no contest to second-degree reckless endangerment in December 2010 after barricading himself in a room at Lad Lake Residential Treatment Center and lighting himself on fire. He was treated for first-, second-, and third-degree burns, according to the criminal complaint.

Haessly's attorney in the federal court case wrote that Haessly suffers from multiple mental health issues and has attempted suicide on approximately 16 occasions.

According to a search warrant affidavit, Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies were first alerted on Oct. 23, 2013 that Haessly was in possession of pipe bombs.

A neighbor told police in the affidavit that Haessly had threatened to use the bombs on anyone, including law enforcement officials, if he was sent back to jail.

Federal and local law enforcement executed a high-risk search warrant at his residence at W246 N6704 Champeny Court on Oct. 24. The Milwaukee Bomb Squad detonated two explosive devices at the apartment and Haessly was placed under arrest.

According to a federal affidavit, police found in the apartment a denim "suicide vest" and a homemade firearm which Haessly said shot 12-gauge shells.

Haessly was indicted in the Eastern District Court of Wisconsin in November. He pleaded guilty in January to one count of unlawful transportation of ammunition and one count of transporting explosive materials.

Federal public defender Tom Phillip represented Haessly. He requested in a sentencing memorandum that the federal court impose a lighter sentence, arguing that Haessly was already facing a substantial sentence in state court after violating probation.

"The object lesson for Haessly has already been taught — he broke the law, got arrested, and now is and will remain in custody until at least 2018," Phillip wrote.

According to the memorandum, Haessly was raised by his step-grandparents after age 14. His mother was addicted to alcohol and drugs, according to the memorandum, and he lived at more than 10 out-of-home placements between ages 6 and 12.

"Haessly's step-grandmother states that the defendant has both positive and negative qualities, has shown himself to have a good heart, but is also troubled from a terrible upbringing," the memorandum states.

Haessly is expected to receive mental health treatment while incarcerated, having been diagnosed with conduct disorder, mood disorder and mixed personality traits.

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