Man who tried to blow up house, kill family gets 20 year term

Man who tried to blow up house, kill family gets 20 year term »Play Video
James Speidel

PORTLAND, Ore. -  A former Nike executive who was charged with trying to kill his family in a natural gas leak has plead guilty and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Speidel had just returned from a trip to Disneyland with his wife and two young children in April when police said he tampered with gas line leading into his Bethany home, filling the house with potentially explosive gas.

But one of Speidel's sons smelled the gas leak and woke up his mom. She safely got herself and the four children, ages 3 to 9, out of the home.

No one was hurt and there was no explosion but investigators said at the time there was enough gas in the home to cause damage even to surrounding homes if the gas had exploded.
Court documents show Speidel's wife suspected he had a history of being depressed and suicidal.
Documents also show Speidel confessed to his wife and wrote letters to her and the children.

Speidel worked for Nike as a business director for the company's "SPARQ" division.

He also was a volunteer for LifeWorks NW, serving on its marketing committee from 2009 to 2010. That organization provides treatment and counseling for people with drug addictions and mental health issues.

According to the University of Oregon, he attended the school in the 1990s and again in the spring of 2011 and winter of 2012, majoring in social sciences. But there is no record he ever earned a degree.

A records search revealed Speidel was arrested for DUII in 2007 and pleaded “no contest.” He was sentenced to a diversion program.