Sheriff's department on the scene at site of the April 29, 2015 fire. (Eagle County Sheriff’s Office)

Man thrown in air by explosion while making hash oil pleads guilty to arson

A 26-year-old man who was tossed into the air by a hash oil explosion he caused in 2015 pleaded guilty this week to fourth-degree arson, a felony charge, and faces up to six years in prison.

Ryne Wilhelmi
Ryne Wilhelmi (Provided by 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office)

Ryne Wilhelmi on Monday admitted causing the the April 29, 2015, explosion.

Wilhelmi was a renting an Eagle County home when he caused a flash fire and explosion while processing marijuana into concentrate, according to the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s office.

A witness reported hearing a large explosion, then seeing Wilhelmi fly through the air, investigators said. Wilhelmi suffered severe burns, prosecutors said.

“Marijuana processing is a volatile activity that should only be done by licensed professionals,” District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a statement. “The legalized hash oil ‘boom’ should not be allowed to take morph into actual explosions. I have determined because of the lethality of the activity that anyone guilty of this crime will have a serious felony on their record for life, as will this defendant.”

Wilhelmi is slated to be sentenced in March.

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