The father of man suspected of planting a bomb at a Spokane, Washington Martin Luther King Day parade believes that there is no way his son could have committed the crime.
After a raid on his home, Kevin Harpham was arrested last Wednesday on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and of possessing an improvised explosive device (IED) that was not registered to him.
Cecil Harpham, Kevin’s father, told KXLY that his son was taking care of him at his home near Kettle Falls on the day the bomb was planted. Cecil suffered a stroke in November and requires daily assistance.
“I know he didn’t go plant it because he was with me,” he said. “He helped me dress, he cooked my meals, he did my chores, he brought my firewood in and he just lived right here with me.”
Cecil speculated that even though Kevin couldn’t have planted the bomb, he could have helped make it.
“Maybe he might of helped them build a bomb, he might have, might have helped them build a bomb,” he told KXLY’s Sally Showman.
Cecil recalled that Kevin had once bought a book about bomb making.
“He said I bought the book and I read it and is so disappointed because there was no directions to build a bomb,” Cecil recalled.
Cecil explained that his son identifies himself as a racist but doesn’t know how to hate.
“Picture that if you had a son and he said I hate Negroes, but you go with him somewhere and he meets, he goes to a cashier to pay for his gas and you see him being very polite to this Negro and courteous and you stand back and you say jeepers, for a hater, he don’t know how to hate,” Cecil said.
The older Harpham also sought to downplay the bomb by dismissing it as a prank.
“This bomb really wasn’t a bomb, it didn’t go off, they couldn’t even blow it up with explosives besides it, if anything it was a really cruel joke,” he said.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which tracks hate groups, noted Wednesday that “Harpham was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in late 2004.”
The FBI said early this year that the attempted bombing may have been racially motivated.
This video is from KXLY, broadcast March 13, 2011.