TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Illinois man accused of plotting to firebomb dozens of Oklahoma churches with Molotov cocktails is incompetent to stand trial, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
The decision by U.S. Magistrate Paul J. Cleary means Gregory Arthur Weiler II will undergo more evaluation and possible treatment, with the goal of making him well enough to stand trial.
Weiler is accused of planning to destroy 48 churches in northeastern Oklahoma and preparing to launch the attacks from a tiny motel near Interstate 44 in Miami, Okla. The 24-year-old Elk Grove Village, Ill., man was arrested in October.
He has pleaded not guilty to one count of possessing an unregistered, destructive device, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Weiler's federal public defender, Stephen Greubel, has said in court documents that his client has been diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder, and has been hospitalized numerous times over the past five years for mental health issues.
After Cleary issued his ruling, Weiler went on a rambling, incoherent speech.
"I would really like it if people open their eyes to what's occurred in this country in the past six months," said Weiler, who remained seated as he addressed the judge.
Weiler, who was shackled and was dressed in a black-and-white jail uniform, uttered a profanity at one point and then asked the judge if he was familiar with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington before someone yanked the microphone away.
Weiler could spend up to four months in treatment at a federal prison facility before he is re-evaluated.
Greubel declined to comment on his client's case outside the courtroom.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cyran indicated his office agreed with Cleary's decision.
Investigators say they searched Weiler's motel room in October after two apartment maintenance men found a duffel bag in a trash bin behind the motel that contained bomb-making materials, such as bottles and a gas can. Authorities say they discovered instructions on how to make Molotov cocktails and hand-drawn sketches of the targeted churches.