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Motive remains a mystery

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Authorities spent most of Wednesday trying to answer questions about Anthony Todd Saxon.

Col. Glenn Kennedy, Garrison Commander at Fort Gordon, speaks to the media during a press conference at Fort Gordon Wednesday.  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Col. Glenn Kennedy, Garrison Commander at Fort Gordon, speaks to the media during a press conference at Fort Gordon Wednesday.

Why, for example, was the married Keysville, Ga., father of three driving around Fort Gordon on Tuesday dressed in an Army combat uniform, even though his military service appears to have ended with a National Guard stint in the mid-1990s?

What was he doing with several explosive devices found in a knapsack in his car when authorities stopped him Tuesday afternoon on post?

Why had he marched into the post Military Police office earlier in the day, identified himself as a master sergeant conducting a training exercise, and checked out a laser sighting device?

Why did his wife of 15 years think he was leaving the country today for a job in the Middle East?

The FBI, which is investigating the case, didn't provide answers to those questions Wednesday, citing an ongoing investigation. The agency would not even identify Saxon, 34, by name.

But Saxon, still wearing camouflage pants and a drab brown shirt, stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leon Barfield at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Augusta on Wednesday afternoon as the judge recapped the strange sequence of events that brought him there.

Stopping to turn and look back at his wife, Rhonda, as she sat crying in the back row of the courtroom, Saxon spoke only once, to say "yes, sir" to the judge, who had asked whether Saxon understood he had the right to remain silent.

Saxon is charged with impersonating an officer and theft of government property, court records show. A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Rhonda Saxon said in a phone interview that she was stunned by the arrest. She arrived home Tuesday to find police officers, FBI and the bomb squad removing items. She said they removed all her sons' guns and several grenades and bombs her husband made to look like the real thing.

"I don't understand," Rhonda Saxon said. "I was under the impression he was leaving for Iraq Thursday."

She and her husband moved from Florida to Keysville in December.

Rhonda Saxon said she believed they moved to the area because her husband had a job at Fort Gordon. Buz Yarnell, a spokesman for Fort Gordon, said he did not know whether Saxon had worked as a civilian on post and referred questions to the fort's human resources department. A call to the department was not answered Wednesday.

Rhonda Saxon said many things aren't adding up. She said she had heard voicemail messages from officials at Fort Gordon giving her husband directions about when and where he should come to work at the fort.

She said her husband has always been infatuated with the military.

"I just don't understand how this could have been a lie," Rhonda Saxon said.

On the quiet Keysville street where Saxon and his family have lived since their move, neighbors said most people kept to themselves. Few seemed surprised to learn about the arrest.

A couple, who would not give their names, said the only time they'd met Saxon was when he showed up at their door -- dressed in an Army uniform -- to ask whether they had called the police on him.

About a month ago, police came to the neighborhood after receiving a report of gunshots in the area, the couple said.

Saxon told them he was shooting targets in his backyard in preparation for an overseas deployment and that he was stationed at Fort Gordon.

In an affidavit filed in federal court Wednesday, Saxon told authorities that he served in the Army National Guard for two years in the 1990s before he was released because of health reasons. He has never served in the Army, it said.

Staff Writer Sandy Hodson contributed to this report.

Comments (27) Add comment
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Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 06/17/10 - 12:10 am
0
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Dig deeper...the guy has

Dig deeper...the guy has local connections...he grew up here...father was a politician, actually...

beboisme
425
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beboisme 06/17/10 - 04:40 am
0
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Go on Austin, crack the case

Go on Austin, crack the case for the Feds., you've got a good start, now get a move on!

Dixieman
17584
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Dixieman 06/17/10 - 05:20 am
0
0
Seems like he is a loon

Seems like he is a loon rather than a serious terrorist.

OnlyinAgs
1
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OnlyinAgs 06/17/10 - 05:38 am
0
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He must be a militia of one,

He must be a militia of one, this screams Beckian follower everywhere.

justus4
113
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justus4 06/17/10 - 06:12 am
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Who cares about a "motive"?
Unpublished

Who cares about a "motive"? Get the charges out there and demonstrate what others will face if they are even thinking about similar behavior. For those who are observant, nothing could be more LESS important than a motive because deception is congenital (they are born with it inside them) with such individuals and talking to those who THOUGHT they knew him is useless. They'll say, "he was such a good guy" or "he don't have a racist bone in his body" or "he's an all-american boy" so, get to the long list of charges and forget about motives. Otherwise, this investigation will become an exercise in unequal justice and a failure to deter others.

jahir
3
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jahir 06/17/10 - 06:59 am
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Corrections made: Please note

Corrections made:
Please note when reporting that this guy has a Keysville address but he does not live in Keysville. This area is about 10 minutes from Waynesboro off of Story Mill Road. I know it takes me 30 minutes to drive to Waynesboro. This is a very sensitive issue and a very serious crime that we the REAL citizens of KEYSVILLE wish not to be associated with. As a reporter I know you do not know how this area has been coded - meaning attaching our 30816 zip code to any area within so many distances from the heart of Keysville, in this case I feel we need some clarification of what area of Burke County this really occurred. View MapQuest, Google Maps etc and you will see. Thank you.

Furthermore, we knew he was not from Keysville the minute we saw the broardcast at 5:00pm. Unfortunately, we could not see it at 6:00pm to identify the house and address to confirm this because our cable was totally out. Many citizens were upset due to the report of a Keysville man was the culprit and not being able to confirm.

fatboyhog
2104
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fatboyhog 06/17/10 - 07:00 am
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I am quite sure that the

I am quite sure that the Federal investigators know everything about this guy. But, I'm glad our esteemed local radio jock is conducting a thorough investigation.

Austin Rhodes
3002
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Austin Rhodes 06/17/10 - 07:11 am
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0
What the Feds know, and how

What the Feds know, and how quickly they share that with the rest of the world are two entirely different things.

It is the obfuscation that irritates me. Why would they spend 20 minutes talking about "inert" grenades, and how harmless "most" of his collection was...but refuse to give any details on the "anti-tank" mine they seized and detonated. This would be like discussing the slingshot Timothy McVeigh had on his carseat when arrested, but glossing right over the truckload of explosives he assembled.

Were the reporters at the press conference even AWARE of the mine at the time? Talk about slight of hand...

fatboyhog
2104
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fatboyhog 06/17/10 - 07:30 am
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0
You media types never cease

You media types never cease to amaze me. Did you ever stop to think that the Feds aren't releasing certain info because the are CONDUCTING an investigation? You are apparently getting your info from a source who is not authorized to diseminate it.And I don't think that source would be happy if someone compromised one of their investigations. Does the media ever stop to think that in their quest to "break" a story or to get an "exclusive" scoop, that you could be jeopardizing the investigation? You get jump and and down, yell and scream, and throw a temper tantrum all day long, yet the investigators are under no oblligation to give all the facts until the investigation is complete. I don't know how that can obfuscate you.

Edward1968
624
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Edward1968 06/17/10 - 08:09 am
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I agree with you fatboyhog

I agree with you fatboyhog 100%. Anyone with half an ounce of intelligence would know that an on-going investigation is not helped by having key leads and evidence exposed to the general public.

beboisme
425
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beboisme 06/17/10 - 08:12 am
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wow fatboyhog! Gotta give you

wow fatboyhog! Gotta give you some outstanding credit!

disssman
6
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disssman 06/17/10 - 09:44 am
0
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I still say all of the items

I still say all of the items were made at the Training Aids Support Center (TASC) and were plastic demo items used army wide. As to the explosives, i still wonder if they were fireworks bought across the river. I believe if the FBI and Homeland security had found anything dangerous, they would have plastered the news with pictures of it to justify their enormous budgets. As to the demolition of a "suspected" land mine, the only explosion that occured was the small amount used by the EOD.

bettyboop
8
Points
bettyboop 06/17/10 - 09:48 am
0
0
But..but..maybe just maybe he

But..but..maybe just maybe he really is an "undercover special ops" dude?....hmmmmmmmmm ........(tic)

butler123
1
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butler123 06/17/10 - 10:22 am
0
0
fatboyhog is right, I know

fatboyhog is right, I know something that isn't being reported, but I'm not saying what it is because there may be a reason why they aren't telling it.

DonLaakso
0
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DonLaakso 06/17/10 - 10:41 am
0
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My question is: How did Saxon

My question is: How did Saxon get onto Fort Gordon if his Military ID (which he didn't have) was properly verified when he came thru the gate? If he had a Uniform on coming thru the gate, his ID should still have been verified by the Guard. If he had no Military ID, his uniform would be a dead give away. Are IDs being checked properly when people enter the gates?

butler123
1
Points
butler123 06/17/10 - 10:53 am
0
0
Maybe they let him on post on

Maybe they let him on post on purpose. Easier to catch him that way.

veggie-d
0
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veggie-d 06/17/10 - 11:07 am
0
0
austin...your use of "slight

austin...your use of "slight of hand" means they have little bitty hands like the guy in the burger king commercials...i have not seen the size of their hands...but i'm betting they are of average size...or SLIGHTLY smaller/larger!

Mrs Genevive Bait
0
Points
Mrs Genevive Bait 06/17/10 - 11:46 am
0
0
This guy is obviously working

This guy is obviously working for the CIA.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 06/17/10 - 12:22 pm
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My information comes from

My information comes from those who object to the behavior and decisions made by the people IN CONTROL of the investigation. They say there is a LOT of CYA going on, excuses being fabricated on the spot, and misdirection. These same people have never been wrong before when they have shared information...I doubt they would be now.

veggie-d
0
Points
veggie-d 06/17/10 - 12:40 pm
0
0
austin rhodes...there is

austin rhodes...there is ALWAYS CYA going on in the military...always has been/always will be...it's the military way!...WHY do you act like that's news?...

baronvonreich
1
Points
baronvonreich 06/17/10 - 12:41 pm
0
0
justus4Thursday, Jun. 17 7:12

justus4Thursday, Jun. 17 7:12 AMnew Report Who cares about a "motive"? Get the charges out there and demonstrate what others will face if they are even thinking about similar behavior. For those who are observant, nothing could be more LESS important than a motive because deception is congenital (they are born with it inside them) with such individuals and talking to those who THOUGHT they knew him is useless. They'll say, "he was such a good guy" or "he don't have a racist bone in his body" or "he's an all-american boy" so, get to the long list of charges and forget about motives. Otherwise, this investigation will become an exercise in unequal justice and a failure to deter others.
---------------------------
Wow. That is an interesting take for someone who is in favor of ZERO prosecution for the Glenn Hills HS bookkeeper who stole $14K from student fees.

Smell the hypocrisy!!!

fatboyhog
2104
Points
fatboyhog 06/17/10 - 01:20 pm
0
0
Gee Austin, they may be

Gee Austin, they may be feeding you reliable information, but if your sources are Law Enforcement types, they are dead wrong for doing it. There may well be CYA going on, but someone will be held accountable. But, that can happen AFTER the investigation. Your sources object the behavior and decisions made by people IN CONTROL of the investigation. Maybe those IN CONTROL have the big picture in mind. Those that object are probably mad that they aren't getting to play an active roll in the investigation. Eventually, everything will come out. My assertion is, let the investigators do their job.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 06/17/10 - 03:57 pm
0
0
My assertion is, I haven't

My assertion is, I haven't done a dang thing to stop or hinder them. I have been asked on about a dozen occasions over the years to "lay off" a topic because of a developing investigation, and when asked, I have NEVER said no. None of what I have said threatens or hinders their case...if they have a problem with me, they know how to find me.

fatboyhog
2104
Points
fatboyhog 06/17/10 - 05:45 pm
0
0
It's kind of humorous how the

It's kind of humorous how the media types blow a gasket over not getting information. AR, for the record, I never said that you have done "a dang thing to stop or hinder them". I'm saying that they aren't releasing certain information until they have all the facts and complete their investigation. I'm quite sure that in the coming days/weeks, they will.

Sargebaby
4693
Points
Sargebaby 06/17/10 - 05:49 pm
0
0
Another thing you guys who

Another thing you guys who are "dissing" Austin have overlooked; if the Military authorities want to place a "gag order" on attained information, it's a matter of just one call! Any information Austin disseminates has been legally released for broadcast or print. Austin deservedly wins this argument hands down!

april65
12
Points
april65 06/17/10 - 08:06 pm
0
0
I want to check out a land

I want to check out a land mine...although I probably won't be able to bring the whole thing back.

HoosierDaddy
0
Points
HoosierDaddy 06/17/10 - 08:21 pm
0
0
Has no one wondered why he is

Has no one wondered why he is being charged with impersonating an officer if he identified himself as a Master Sergeant? To identify oneself as anything, you must be wearing the proper rank or provide adequate ID. Can't be charged with impersonating an officer if he was impersonating a NCO.

happychimer
19587
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happychimer 06/17/10 - 09:24 pm
0
0
I saw in the jail report

I saw in the jail report paper that a woman, who appeared to be black, was arrested for threatening to blow up Fort Gordan and all the black people on it. Her picture is on page 9. She had a wild look in her eyes.

demon319
0
Points
demon319 06/17/10 - 10:21 pm
0
0
hoosierdaddy, you do know

hoosierdaddy, you do know that NCO stands for Non commissioned OFFICER, right?

akmoose
149
Points
akmoose 06/18/10 - 02:20 pm
0
0
In the eyes of the law and

In the eyes of the law and their interpretation of "impersonating an officer" there's no difference between an Officer and an NCO...only members of the military (and ones knowledgeable of such) really make that distinction.

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