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Panaca bomber lost relatives, marriages, career in years before attack

Glenn Jones lost a lot in the last six years of his life.

His brother and only sibling died suddenly. His third marriage ended amid allegations of prescription drug theft. His elderly mother took her own life with a shotgun the day after her husband’s funeral. And his Nevada nursing license was revoked, also amid drug allegations.

Authorities haven’t said why Jones killed himself during a bomb attack in the small Nevada town of Panaca on July 13, but the increasingly isolated 59-year-old seemed to have no shortage of reasons to be down on life.

A week after the pair of powerful explosions destroyed a car and a house and rained shrapnel over the town 165 miles northeast of Las Vegas, details finally began to emerge about Jones’ history, pieced together from records in four states and the recollections of a few people who knew him.

Glenn Franklin Jones was born Oct. 4, 1956, in Pueblo, Colorado, and grew up in rural Otero County in the Southeastern part of the state.

He graduated from high school in Fowler, Colorado, in 1975, and married a woman named Brinda Becker in the nearby town of Rocky Ford in 1984. He earned an associate degree in December 1988 and a practical nursing certificate in July 1992, both from Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado.

Jones’ father died in 1985. His mother, Margaret, later remarried and moved to northern New Mexico.

The State of Nevada certified Jones as a licensed practical nurse in October 1993.

It’s unclear when his first marriage ended, but his second marriage, to Kathi Erlynn Renaud, began in Clark County on Dec. 28, 2001.

Huerfano County, Colorado, court records show Renaud filed for a temporary protection order against Jones in December 2006. Details about why she requested such an order were not available Wednesday.

The order was vacated in June 2007, and Renaud filed for divorce in April 2008, though the case, which included a request for another protective order, wasn’t finalized until late that year.

Within days of his second divorce, Jones was married for a third time on Nov. 22, 2008, Clark County records show.

His marriage to Sue Ellen Hogan would last less than four years.

A Clark County judge declared the couple’s union “wholly dissolved” on July 13, 2012, but not before Hogan accused him of stealing drugs from a Pahrump nursing home where he worked.

The divorce records indicate that police looked into the allegations and Jones was cleared. Messages left for the Pahrump Health and Rehabilitation Center and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office were not returned Wednesday.

Jones went to work at the Grover C. Dils Medical Center in Caliente, about 15 miles southwest of Panaca, in 2012. He got word of his mother’s suicide on July 7, 2013, roughly three years after his brother, Ray, died.

A report on the 89-year-old woman’s death by the sheriff’s office in San Juan County, New Mexico, included statements from a relative who said Margaret Jones complained that she felt abandoned by “her son who lived out in Nevada,” though she had given him power of attorney.

Jones continued working at the medical center in Caliente until August, when he left his job voluntarily and on good terms, according to Jason Bleak, administrator and CEO of the rural hospital and nursing home.

The nurse may have had reason to quit when he did.

According to the State Board of Nursing, Jones mishandled morphine at the medical center at least three times before he abruptly left. In March, the board stripped him of his license and barred him from seeking reinstatement for five years.

By the time his nursing credentials were being taken away, Jones was renting space at an RV Park in Kingman, Arizona, where authorities now believe he assembled more than a dozen explosive devices.

Jones ignited two of those bombs and then shot himself in the head in Panaca last week in front of the home of Joshua Cluff, his friend and former nursing supervisor at the Caliente hospital; Cluff’s wife and fellow nurse, Tiffany; and their three daughters.

On Jones’ registration form for the Kingman RV park, he listed Joshua Cluff as his emergency contact.

Cluff hung up on a Review-Journal reporter when reached for comment Wednesday.

Michael Pontoni, the attorney who represented Jones in his 2012 divorce, couldn’t recall anything unusual about the separation itself, but said he remembered his client as “clever but subservient” and “purposefully deferential.”

“His remarkable attribute, in this context, is he was an inveterate inventor and tinkerer,” Pontoni wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon after learning of Jones’ death. “He spoke of dozens of inventions and ideas that he had sold to major companies in the pre-patent stage. … His ‘invention’ would consist of a hand-made drawing on one sheet of paper and a one sentence description.”

The stories Jones told had a common thread, Pontoni said.

“Once he achieved momentum in life, he was unfairly stifled by misfortune or mischief-makers,” the lawyer wrote.

Pontoni didn’t explain the misfortune or identify the mischief-makers.

He said Jones was a “wonderfully nice guy,” not someone you would expect to violently lash out at the world. But in hindsight, he said, his client certainly seemed to have the technical expertise to do what he did.

“His overarching characteristic was one of unrewarded talent,” Pontoni wrote. “He was probably clever enough to invent or build a bomb.”

Review-Journal writers Wesley Juhl, Blake Apgar and Dave Hawkins and data editor Adelaide Chen contributed to this report. Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Find @lauxkimber on Twitter. Contact Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350. Find @RefriedBrean on Twitter.

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