The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

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.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • 041814 EPA projects5_72.jpg Contaminated mine tailings could be used on west bypass

    About 500 acres of former mining land at Wildwood Ranch have been reclaimed by contractors working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than 1 million cubic yards of contaminated mine tailings in the form of chat and waste rock have been consolidated in a surface repository that someday could be part of the roadbed for a limited-access highway that transportation planners hope to build on the west side of Joplin.

    April 20, 2014 4 Photos

  • Joplin City Council to hear baseball plan details

    Proposed redevelopment plans for Joe Becker Stadium will be discussed with the Joplin City Council in a work session at the end of its regular meeting tonight. The WLD Suarez partnership has obtained a franchise of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball that succeeds the El Paso (Texas) Diablos.

    April 20, 2014

  • Money to area lawmakers slows down but doesn’t stop

    With the Legislature back in session, the flow of campaign cash to local candidates has slowed. But in this election year, the money did not completely stop. All members of the local delegation to the Missouri General Assembly are on the ballot this year, but only two lawmakers are facing opposition.

    April 20, 2014

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014