The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 8, 2013

Ottawa County court finds accused plotter competent

MIAMI, Okla. — A judge ruled Tuesday that a man who was arrested at a Miami motel in alleged possession of materials for 50 Molotov cocktails and plans to firebomb local churches is competent for criminal proceedings to resume.

Gregory A. Weiler II, 23, appeared at a competency evaluation hearing in Ottawa County District Court in Miami.

The defendant was evaluated recently at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita at the request of his attorney. His evaluators were asked to determine if Weiler is able to understand the nature of the criminal proceedings he is facing, and if he has the ability to assist his attorney in his own defense.

At the hearing, the defendant and his attorney, Andrew Meloy, stipulated to the evaluation’s finding that the defendant is competent for the case to proceed, and Special District Judge William Culver ordered proceedings to resume with a preliminary hearing on Feb. 7.

Weiler is charged with possession of explosive, incendiary devices and with violating the state’s anti-terrorism law.

He was arrested Oct. 4 at the Legacy Inn & Suites in Miami after suspicious items were found in the motel’s trash bin. Police were contacted about a military-type bag containing 50 empty beer bottles with duct tape and strips of cloth attached that a motel employee discovered in the trash. Suspicions were heightened when officers also found a 5-gallon can of gasoline outside the motel.

Weiler, a guest of the motel, was arrested after similar items were spotted inside his room and police were informed.

A search warrant was obtained, and investigators discovered a receipt in the room for sheets, a gas can, a funnel and lighter fluid that were purchased at the town’s Wal-Mart store. They also found a roll of duct tape, several beer bottle caps, an empty 20-bottle box of beer and torn pieces of a handwritten document inside the defendant’s room, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

When the torn pieces of paper were reassembled, they revealed a recipe for Molotov cocktails and a list of 48 churches in the Miami area. A crudely drawn map of the churches featured “a key detailing how many nights and how many people,” the affidavit states.

A journal on the bed in the room reportedly bore an entry that read: “Self promote for the next four years while beginning a list of goals written out in Oklahoma having to do with destroying and removing church buildings from U.S. a tiny bit at a time — setting foundation for years to come.”

Weiler grew up in suburban Chicago and graduated from high school in Elk Grove Village, Ill. A cousin told The Associated Press that both of Weiler’s parents committed suicide, and that he has battled drug addictions and mental illness.

Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter