Suspect in Grass Valley bomb case sentenced to 2 years’ probation |

Suspect in Grass Valley bomb case sentenced to 2 years’ probation

Mary Dalton

A Grass Valley woman arrested in May 2019 after police located homemade explosive devices inside a closet in her residence was sentenced Thursday to a two-year probationary term for a lesser charge.

Mary Lee Dalton, 54, could receive some jail time, however, after she was sentenced to 120 days in county jail for a separate case.

Dalton had been charged with possession of an explosive device in connection with the May 2019 arrest and was facing a maximum of three years in prison if convicted.

According to reports, police arrested her after receiving a tip about explosives in her home. Inside a closet, officers found at least two devices taped to bottles that held a suspected incendiary liquid. Police opted to have nearby residents shelter in place and not evacuate the area. Dalton, who rented out bedrooms in the home, told officers she’d found the devices and put them in her closet. There was no known target for the suspected bombs.

Dalton pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a felony and was sentenced to two years’ probation in Nevada County Superior Court.

As part of the plea agreement, she also pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a peace officer in a case stemming from an arrest in January.

On Jan. 20, Grass Valley police officers were dispatched to Dalton’s residence on LaMarque Court for a verbal dispute, then returned later the same day after multiple 911 calls about another disturbance. Dalton was “extremely uncooperative and belligerent” and “charged” an officer before making threats to get a gun and shoot officers, authorities said.

In that case, Judge Scott Thomsen sentenced Dalton to two years’ probation – to run concurrently with her other probationary sentence — and 120 days in jail, with six days’ credit for time served. Dalton can apply for home detention and is set to report to jail on Feb. 5.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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