The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 14, 2013

Competency hearing sought for accused bomb plotter

MIAMI, Okla. — The attorney for a man who was arrested in Miami in an alleged plot to firebomb dozens of area churches is seeking a hearing to determine his client’s mental competency.

Gregory A. Weiler II, 24, of Elk Grove Village, Ill., is charged in U.S. District Court in Tulsa with possession of an unregistered destructive device. The case was transferred to federal court last week after initially being filed in Ottawa County District Court.

Stephen Greubel, Weiler’s attorney from the federal public defender’s office, filed the request Tuesday in a court motion.

“Information provided by the United States Probation Office and other sources states that defendant Weiler has been hospitalized on numerous occasions over a five-year period due to mental health issues, that he has been diagnosed with depression disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic-stress disorder and borderline personality disorder, and that he has not taken prescribed medications for his conditions since 2010,” reads a portion of the motion.

The motion requests that all criminal proceedings against Weiler be suspended until a determination of competency is made. The prosecution isn’t objecting to the motion.

“If a defendant I’m prosecuting has concerns, or his lawyer has concerns, about his mental competency, that’s certainly something we want to flesh out before we go forward,” Matthew Cyran, assistant U.S. attorney, said Thursday.

The defense motion includes a request for a psychiatric examination of Weiler, with the competency hearing following the examination.

The state court last month had found Weiler competent to stand trial. At that hearing, Weiler and his attorney at the time stipulated to findings by the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita that Weiler was competent to stand trial. The Oklahoma Forensic Center had evaluated Weiler at his attorney’s request.

Weiler was arrested Aug. 4 at the Legacy Inn & Suites in Miami. A maintenance worker at the motel discovered in a trash bin a sailor’s bag containing 50 empty beer bottles with duct tape and strips of cloth attached. The worker called police, who found a 5-gallon can of gasoline outside the motel.

A motel employee spotted similar items inside Weiler’s motel room, resulting in a police search that found receipts for sheets, a gas can, a funnel and lighter fluid. Police seized a roll of duct tape, beer bottle caps, 20 empty beer bottles and a torn document. The document when reassembled was found to contain a formula for making firebombs, with a list of 48 churches in the area and a crude map indicating their locations.

A journal found on the bed in the motel room contained 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.”

A cousin has told The Associated Press that both of Weiler’s parents committed suicide.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this report.

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