Accused Pipe-Bomb Plotters Plead Not Guilty

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Two accused pipe-bomb plotters pleaded not guilty during their arraignments on Monday (Aug. 19) at the Washington County Detention Center.

Shirley Mugley and the man charged with being her conspirator in the pipe-bomb plot, Andrew Cox, entered the not-guilty pleas before Washington County Magistrate Ray Reynolds. A not guilty plea is required at an arraignment so the case can proceed in the legal system. With a guilty plea, a suspect loses the right to appeal, the magistrate said.

Mugley is charged with felony conspiracy to commit capital murder, criminal possession of a destructive device and criminal use of prohibited weapons. She is set to appear Oct. 15 in Washington County Circuit Court.

Cox is charged with felony criminal use of prohibited weapons and is set to appear Oct. 23 in Washington County Circuit Court.

The West Fork woman is accused of hatching a scheme to kill her ex-husband with a pipe bomb.

Mugley remains in the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond. Cox has been released on a $5,000 bond. He appeared at the arraignment in civilian clothes and left shortly after entering his not-guilty plea. As seen in the photo with this story, she appeared before the magistrate in orange jail clothing and returned to the lockup area after entering her not-guilty plea.

Washington County deputies said Cox told police he went with Mugley to buy materials to make the pipe bomb. Cox and Mugley made the bomb in the basement of Mugley’s house on the 14000 block of Highway 265 South, according to a preliminary arrest report.

Cox, 20, had a previous romantic relationship with Mugley, the report states.

Police said they obtained video of Mugley buying a cell phone that matches the phone that was attached to the pipe bomb, the report states. According to the report, police recorded a phone call between Cox and Mugley during which Mugley discussed the pipe bomb and the conspiracy to kill her husband.

The pipe bomb was found in April in the Illinois River in rural Washington County, according to the sheriff’s office. Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said Cox threw the pipe bomb in the river after he “chickened out.”

Helder said Mugley and her husband had a history of domestic disturbances.

Michael Mugley filed a protection order against his ex-wife Shirley Mugley last month, following her arrest on suspicion of conspiracy, criminal use of a prohibited and criminal possession of explosives. That order was extended Aug. 16 to five years in, according to the office of Judge Beth Storey Bryan.

Cox also had a protection order filed against him by Michael Mugley last month. That order was extended Aug. 16 to one year, according to Storey Bryan’s office.

In the original protection order, Storey Bryan signs that she finds Michael Mugley may be in “immediate and present danger of domestic abuse” if or when Shirley Mugley is released from jail.

Bryan also signed an order last month ceasing Shirley Mugley’s visitation with her children pending further orders from Circuit Court. The couple was granted a divorce in Washington County in May, according to court records. They have three children under the age of 18 together, according to records.