Moon Twp. man accused of blowing up house ordered held for trial

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MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A judge ordered a suicidal Moon Township man to stand trial for allegedly blowing up his home and destroying several of his neighbor’s homes earlier this year.

Coraopolis District Judge Mary P. Murray ordered 47-year-old Shawn Landa to remain in the Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Landa is facing several counts of criminal mischief, arson and related crimes for the Oct. 12 explosion on Charlton Heights Road.

Witnesses said the blast damaged nine other homes and scattered debris throughout the residential neighborhood. Landa and a 61-year-old neighbor were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

“Everybody that was affected will get over it, but (Landa’s) the one who will carry scars for a long time,” neighbor Nancy McCardle said.

According to a criminal complaint, Landa told police he broke a natural gas line in his basement, turned on the valve and went upstairs, expecting that something would ignite it while he took a nap. He woke up three or four hours later and ignited the gas when he lit a cigarette.

Police said Landa was distraught over being unemployed and not having custody of his children. Channel 11’s Brittny McGraw reported he also struggled with depression and had recently been released from alcohol rehab.

He told police he got the idea to blow up his house after watching a movie about the Hindenburg, the Nazi airship that exploded in 1937, killing 36 people.

Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.