The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

January 6, 2014

Judge: Man accused in firebomb plot fit to stand trial

MIAMI, Okla. — A federal judge decided Monday that Gregory A. Weiler II is now competent to stand trial on a charge stemming from an alleged plot to firebomb dozens of churches in Oklahoma.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary ruled at a hearing in federal court in Tulsa that Weiler, 25, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., has been restored to competency based on a report made to the court by doctors who evaluated and treated the defendant in recent months at a U.S. Bureau of Prisons operation in Butner, N.C. The judge set a scheduling conference in the case for Friday.

Weiler has pleaded innocent to a single count of possession of an unregistered destructive device in connection with his arrest Oct. 4, 2012, at the Legacy Inn & Suites in Miami. Police say he was in possession of materials to construct about 50 Molotov cocktails and apparent plans to firebomb 48 churches in the Miami area.

The charge carries up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Weiler was deemed unfit to stand trial in April of last year. His federal public defender has indicated in court documents that his client has been variously diagnosed in the past with depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder, and has been hospitalized numerous times in recent years for mental health issues.

A cousin of the defendant’s told The Associated Press that both of Weiler’s parents committed suicide, and that he has struggled with drug addiction and mental illness for several years. Family members have suggested that he may have stopped taking his prescribed medication at the time of his arrest.

His attorney, Stephen Greubel, informed the court in August of last year that he planned to mount an insanity defense on behalf of his client.

Investigators searched Weiler’s motel room after bomb-making materials were discovered in a trash bin outside the motel. In the room, they found additional evidence, including torn pieces of a document that, when reassembled, bore a recipe for making Molotov cocktails, a listing of churches in the area and a crude map of their locations.



Competence

A FEDERAL JUDGE has decided that Gregory Weiler is currently capable of understanding “the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him” and “to assist properly in his own defense.”

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