Investigation heats up in Monroe car bombing incident that injured an attorney and his two sons

EXCLUSIVE: Email/texts could shed light on motive

MONROE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Action News has uncovered an email and text messages that could shed light on a possible motive for hurting local attorney Erik Chappell.

The findings come from a nasty divorce case that Chappell has been handling in which he represents a Monroe County woman.

The woman's husband sent an email to Chappell in February, saying "You think this is a game, you are sadly mistaken."

Court documents show the husband appears to hold Chappell responsible for money problems. In the same email he writes, "I have moved out of my apartment, because I can no longer afford [it]".

Legal experts tell Action News it would be highly inappropriate and ethically questionable for a defendant to communicate with the opposing attorney.

The man also sent text messages to the woman he is divorcing, saying "Eric has broke me."

Sources tell Action News the man is one of several people being looked at as a possible suspect.

Meantime, Action News has learned that it was a pipe bomb that was used to blow up Erik Chappell's car. Sources say the pipe bomb was filled with what's believed to be ball bearings.

Investigators are sending several boxes of evidence to Washington, DC, and they believe they have recovered enough evidence from the crime scene that could lead them to the person or people responsible.

Erik Chappel was driving his sons, 11-year-old Cole and 13-year-old Grant, to football practice Tuesday evening when the family Volvo exploded, injuring all three of them.

The boys attend St. Michael's school in Monroe. A prayer vigil was held for the children Thursday evening.

Action News has also confirmed the pipe bomb was placed underneath the car, on the passenger side of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Erik Chappell has sent out his first statement since the bombing. It reads as follows:

The Chappell Family would like to express our sincere appreciation and gratitude to our friends, family, co-workers, and the local community for their prayers and support. As horrific as the bomb and its immediate aftermath were, we continue to be uplifted by the support we have received. It is a testament that good will always overcomes evil. The boys are simply amazing! Their spirits are high and they continue to make progress with their recovery.

The health care providers that have taken care of the boys since the incident have been nothing less than amazing. Our community should be extremely proud of the health services that are available to us in tragic times. We would also like to thank the many law enforcement personnel who have diligently pursued this case to bring the perpetrators to justice.


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