Snyder was specifically charged with felony violations of California Penal Code 18715, possession of an explosive, and California Penal Code 18720, possession of any substance, material, or any combination of substances or materials, with the intent to make any destructive device or any explosive. He was also charged with two counts of possessing a firearm on campus, Penal Code 626.9(i).
His attorney says, "What happened in Dr. Snyder's apartment was an accident. He harbored no intent to build or detonate an explosive device. He is a chemist working on a variety of projects."
No harm there, lots of scientists work in their homes. But anywhere west of Interstate 5, owning a gun in your own home makes you guilty of lots of things, so that looks bad for him.
His department project "focused on small molecule synthetic organic chemistry", which is sort of meaningless. The laboratory is working to develop materials that could be used to treat polycystic kidney disease, which causes the kidneys to become enlarged with cysts in about one of every 1,000 people. Snyder also was helping to develop compounds to treat secretory diarrhea, which affects millions of people mainly in developing countries. He is on investigatory leave from the university.
According to a CBS13 source, on the day the suspect was arrested, materials used to make explosives were found in several dumpsters around Davis. If the chemicals had exploded, the outcome could have been deadly.