Teen in Castle Rock explosives case pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child

KUSA - A teenager arrested as part of a 2016 investigation that led to the discovery of explosives and dangerous chemicals at a Castle Rock home has pleaded guilty to two felony charges, including sexual exploitation of a child, 9Wants to Know has learned.

Sentencing for Nathaniel Warcholik, now 17, is scheduled for Aug. 17.

In addition to the sexual exploitation charge, Warcholik also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, felony, and a misdemeanor count of handgun possession by a juvenile.

The details underpinning the case remain murky – many documents have not been made public, and as a result it is not clear what the sexual exploitation charge is based on.

Warcholik and a companion, John Ashe, were both 16 when they were stopped by Castle Rock police last Oct. 31. They were arrested after officers discovered a handgun and drug paraphernalia in backpacks they were carrying, according to documents previously obtained by 9NEWS from the Colorado Judicial Department.

Following the arrests, police went to the Ashe family home in the 400 block of West Prustwick Way in Castle Rock. There, they discovered the two explosive devices and dangerous chemicals, leading to the evacuation of more than 30 homes in the Plum Creek neighborhood.

Some residents had to stay in a temporary shelter while investigators and firefighters worked at the home.

A bomb squad detonated the two explosive devices not far from the home after concluding they were too dangerous to move any farther.

The chemicals were found in glass beakers and jugs and – if combined – could have proved deadly, according to firefighters who responded to the home.

Castle Rock police called in investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The home was ultimately condemned and required professional decontamination.

Ashe was sentenced to two years in the Department of Youth Corrections after pleading guilty earlier this year in Douglas County juvenile court to a felony count of possession of an explosive or incendiary device and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a handgun by a juvenile.

Ashe’s parents were also charged in the case.

Both Linda C. Ashe, 46, and John E. Ashe, 52, were accused of having “induced, aided, or encouraged” their son’s possession of explosive or incendiary devices, according to court documents obtained by 9NEWS.

Linda Ashe faces two felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – one related to the explosives and chemicals and the second to the allegation that she “induced, aided, or encouraged” her son to possess marijuana.

John E. Ashe was charged with a single felony count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – based on the allegation involving the explosives and chemicals.

Each of them was also charged with a misdemeanor count of child abuse, alleging that they “unreasonably placed” the boy “in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the life or health” of their son.

Both are scheduled to be in court July 17.

Contact 9NEWS reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: kevin.vaughan@9news.com or 303-871-1862.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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