Man Accused Of Attempting To Kill Wife Moved To Medical Ward

Larry Hoagland Arrested Early Tuesday Morning

The husband of a woman injured by a pipe bomb that detonated when she started her pickup truck outside the Rancho San Diego day care center where she works was moved to the medical ward Wednesday. He is held on suspicion of booby-trapping the vehicle in an attempt to kill her.

Lawrence Gerald "Larry" Hoagland, 48, was arrested shortly after midnight in the 3900 block of Hope Street, near the couple's Rolando home, sheriff's homicide Lt. Dennis Brugos said.

According to jail records, he was being kept in the San Diego Central Jail's medical ward for undisclosed reasons.

The businessman's 52-year-old wife, Connie, suffered serious burns, broken bones and other injuries Thursday afternoon when a homemade explosive detonated in, on or under her Ford F-150 in front of the Via Hacienda residential day-care center where she works, according to investigators.

"Since that time, investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies have uncovered evidence linking Mr. Hoagland to that attempt on his wife's life," Brugos said.

The lieutenant declined to elaborate on those findings, citing a need to "maintain the integrity of this ongoing investigation."

Lawrence Hoagland, who co-owns a Morena-area photography studio, was booked into county jail in downtown San Diego on suspicion of attempted murder. He was being held without bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The arrest in the case came a day after a FedEx package of party favors delivered to the Hoaglands' teenage son, Jonathan, at Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley prompted a campus lockdown and nearby road closures. The scare lasted for about four hours, until a bomb squad determined that the package was harmless.

Friends of the family told reporters the 10th-grader had been sent the box of supplies as part of a sanctioned school event he was organizing.

On Monday, at the photography business co-owned by Connie and her husband Larry Hoagland, detectives combed for clues, sifting through business documents and attempting to make sense of a bizarre series of pipe bombs in the last four weeks.

The Hoaglands have two partners who co-own their photo studio: Jim Coit and Dick Van Patten. Coit has not been seen around the offices since Monday when he reportedly left in an unmarked sedan. 10News went by Coit's Carmel Valley home and Van Patten's Clairemont Mesa home but no one answered at either.

At the Hoagland home, Connie's daughter Jill, who 10News spoke with on the night of the explosion, said the family did not want to comment.

Hoagland's church released a statement that said in part, "She is in good spirits today. The doctors shared that she will have more surgery over the next few days so that she can fully recover from her injuries."

The Rancho San Diego day care center, which was just yards from last Thursday's explosion, is still closed. The owners said they want to make sure the children are safe and are waiting to hear from investigators before re-opening.

Husband's Arrest Shocks Friends, Family

Friends and family know Larry Hoagland as a 48-year-old devout Christian man who attends Skyline Church in La Mesa with his wife, Connie, and not someone who would try to kill her with a pipe bomb.

"Absolutely surprised; he seemed like a super nice guy, him and his wife. And I'd hate to think that he or anybody for that matter … that he had anything to do with harming his wife in that way, said Andy Agnew, a neighbor and acquaintance.

According to Hoagland's biography on his "Moonlight Photography" website, he was born in the Bay Area and was raised in Japan, where he began studying commercial and advertising photography with his uncle back in 1981.

However, the Mission Valley-area photo studio he works out of appears to be temporarily closed.

10News' Preston Phillips reported detectives were at the studio until early Tuesday morning searching for more information as to why he may have tried to kill his wife.

At the Chula Vista home where the Hoagland's parents are listed as deceased, two people claiming to be family members said very little when 10News asked about Hoagland and his arrest.

One woman told 10News, "It is very confusing, that's all I can say."

The original owner of the photography studio described Hoagland as the quintessential father who often passed up lucrative job offers to be with his family.

"I can't imagine a man with 3 young children trying to kill his wife," said Burt Nestor, who hired Hoagland in the early 1980s. "I can't imagine him building a pipe bomb."

Burt Nestor said he considered Hoagland the ideal employee.

"He worked very hard," he said. "He was really well-liked by everybody."

Burt Nestor's son Paul has also worked with Hoagland and personally chose him for a family photo shoot with President Gerald Ford.

"I considered him to be the 'king of digital' in this city," said Paul Nestor, who continues to struggle to make sense of the family man he knew.

"The time he spent with his kids and church were the most important things, over and above money," he said.

Both pastors at Skyline Church refused to talk to 10News on camera Tuesday, but issued the following statement:"We're continuing to minister to the Hoagland family and our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Just hours before his arrest, 10News learned Hoagland posted the following message on the Facebook page devoted to his wife's recovery: "We have seen a few doctors today post surgery, and it looks like a long road ahead. Right now pain is a problem."