Sheriff's deputies believe Lonnie Parrish set off a pipe bomb in a Johnston County field Saturday, causing a small fire. Authorities say they also found two more pipe bombs near the scene.
Debra Parrish said her son, Lonnie, never intended to cause any harm.
"He is not violent. He doesn't have a violent nature or anything," she said. "It was not a terrorist or violent act. He just made a really, really bad choice, and he is paying a high price for it."
"He is a country boy. That's just his way of having fun," said Kathy Rogers, Lonnie's cousin. "There was nothing down there. They had already destroyed the houses and the barns. He wasn't trying to hurt anybody."
Parrish faces three felony counts of possessing weapons of mass destruction. He was appointed an attorney in court Monday. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 12.
Parrish is in the Johnston County Jail under $150,000 bond. Investigators said the case is still open and more arrests may be pending.