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Miami church bombings plot - KOAM TV 7

Miami church bombings plot: Not guilty only by reason of insanity, to be sent for treatment of mental illness

Updated January 17, 2014:  Gregory A Weiler II will be sent to a federal facility to be treated for mental illness.

In October 2012 authorities received a tip from staff at the Legacy Inn and Suites in Miami, Oklahoma.  Investigators say they found written plans to bomb 48 area churches during the search of a hotel room.  Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

Weiler was arrested and charged with threatening to use an explosive or incendiary device and violating Oklahoma's Anti-Terrorism Act.

Today, minutes before Weiler's trial was to begin, the prosecutor and defense agreed to a list of stipulations detailing the plan.  A judge then found that Weiler had committed the offense, but found him not guilty only by reason of insanity.

Recently, in a KOAM special report, Weiler's family members told us that a religious cult was behind the plot.  The church's pastor denied the claim and told us Weiler's arrest wasn't the whole story.  The pastor says Weiler had abandoned his drugged fueled plan to bomb the churches long before police came knocking on his hotel door.  You can read that story at Religious Targets.

 

Updated January 7, 2014: According to federal court documents, Gregory A Weiler, II has been found competent to stand trial.

In October 2012 authorities received a tip from staff at the Legacy Inn and Suites in Miami, Oklahoma.  Investigators say they found written plans to bomb 48 area churches during the search of a hotel room.  Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

Weiler was arrested and charged with threatening to use an explosive or incendiary device and violating Oklahoma's Anti-Terrorism Act.

A scheduling conference has been scheduled for January 10, 2014.

Weiler remains in federal custody.

 

Updated August 29, 2013:  The defense attorney for a man who accused of plotting to fire-bomb 48 churches in the Miami, Oklahoma area plans to use an insanity defense.

The public defender gave the notice in a court filing on Wednesday.

In October 2012 authorities received a tip from staff at the Legacy Inn and Suites in Miami, Oklahoma.  Investigators say they found written plans to bomb 48 area churches during the search of a hotel room.  Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

Gregory Arthur Weiler II was arrested and charged with threatening to use an explosive or incendiary device and violating Oklahoma's Anti-Terrorism Act.

Weiler was ruled mentally incompetent this past April.

 

Updated April 3, 2013:  Gregory Weiler has been found temporarily mentally unfit to stand trial.  Weiler is suspected of planning to fire-bomb 48 churches around Miami, Oklahoma.

The defense says over the past five years Weiler has been hospitalized several times for mental health issues.

Weiler has plead not guilty in federal court to possessing an unregistered destructive device.

 

Updated February 14, 2013:  The attorney for an Illinois man accused of planning to fire-bomb churches around Miami, Oklahoma wants a mental evaluation for the suspect before the case goes to trial.

Gregory Weiler has plead not guilty in federal court to possessing an unregistered destructive device.

A previous evaluation ordered while Weiler was in state custody found him mentally fit to stand trial.

Police searching Weiler's Miami hotel room at the Legacy Inn and Suites found written plans to bomb 48 area churches.  Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

 

Updated February 6, 2013:  An Illinois man charged with plotting to bomb Miami area churches will be tried in federal, not state court.

Federal authorities took Gregory Weiler, 24, into federal custody meaning the state charges against Weiler are dropped.

No word on what the federal charges will be.

Police say they found a written plan to bomb 48 area churches in Weiler's hotel room at Miami's Legacy Inn and Suites.

Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

 

Updated January 8, 2012:  Ottawa County courts rule an Illinois man accused of plotting to attack dozens of northeast Oklahoma churches is competent to stand trial.

Gregory Weiler II, age 23, will stand trial after the a judge determined Weiler can proceed with the criminal trial based on results of a competency test.

Weiler is charged with threatening to use an explosive or incendiary device and violating Oklahoma's Anti-Terrorism Act.

Weiler was arrested October 5 after police say they found a written plan to bomb 48 area churches in a Weiler's hotel room at Miami's Legacy Inn & Suites.

Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

Weiler's preliminary hearing is set for February 7.

 

Updated December 28, 2012:  An Illinois man accused of plotting to attack dozens of northeast Oklahoma churches has completed a mental health examination.

Twenty three year old Gregory Weiler II will be back in court January 8th for a hearing to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial.

He is charged with threatening to use an explosive or incendiary device and violating Oklahoma's anti-terrorism act.

Weiler was arrested in October after police say they found a written plan to bomb 48 area churches, in Weiler's hotel room at Miami's Legacy Inn and Suites.

Investigators say they also found Molotov cocktails in a dumpster outside the hotel.

 

Updated December 17, 2012:  A man accused of plotting to blow up more than 40 churches in the Miami, Oklahoma area has yet to receive a competency examination.

Gregory Weiler appeared in court today but because the examination has yet to be scheduled, Weiler was rescheduled to return to court on December 27.

 

Updated December 3, 2012 at 5:30 PM CST:  An Illinois man accused of plotting to blow up more than 40 churches in the Miami, Oklahoma area in October will receive a competency examination.

Gregory Weiler appeared for a scheduled preliminary hearing for the charges of possession of explosive, incendiary devise, simulated bomb to damage, and violation of the Oklahoma Anti-Terrorism Act.

However, the judge delayed the proceedings until results of a competency evaluation are released.

Weiler will remain in the Ottawa County jail until he can be transported to Eastern State Hospital in Vinita for the psychological evaluation.

Last month Weiler received a mental evaluation but according to the Oklahoma courts he showed no signs of mental retardation.

He is still being held without bond as previously ordered.

His next court date is scheduled for December 17.

 

Updated October 7, 2012 at 7:45 PM CST:  Legacy Inn and Suites motel isn't just where Ralph Smith and Steve Ballenger work, it's also their home. They cant believe they helped put a stop to what could have been a catastrophic plan. Smith was taking out the trash when he found a suspicious camouflage duffle bag.

"I pulled it out and felt it was kind of heavy and I hear bottles rattling in it and I opened it up and there was a bunch of shredded material and grabbed one of the bottles and it had gray tape on it so I just left it laying went back inside and called the police and police" says Smith.

Miami police say they collected 52 Molotov cocktails-homemade bombs and left the scene.

23 year old Gregory Weiler had been staying at the hotel for the past two weeks and gave the front desk girls a suspicious feeling. That led Smith and Ballenger to do a maintenance check on Weilers room, room 127.

"We went down and knocked on the door told the guy that he's refused room services for three or four days and we needed to do a impatience check of his room you know we do that you know to keep people from tearing up the rooms and stuff" says Smith.

"He let us right in and I noticed that he went right over and turned his computer off and we walked in around the bed and Raulf noticed there were fibers over on the floor and I noticed there was duck tape and scissors over there" says Ballinger.

"At that point in time Raulf and I turned around and left the room as calm as can be and we told the girls to call 911" says Ballinger.

Police returned to search the room and found more bomb making materials, instructions for making them and a hand drawn map showing the locations of Miami churches and a plan to plant the bombs.

"My stomach still churns thinking about it" says Leon Weece, Senior Minister, First Christian Church.

Authorities believe this is one of 48 churches that Weiler planned to bomb. Relieved that the plan didn't go through, church-goers are glad their house of worship still stands.

Still, Weece opened his church service, praying for the man who allegedly planned to blow up his church.

As for Smith and Ballenger, they plan to continue to keep their motel and the community of Miami safe.

 

Created October 5, 2012 at 4:19 PM CST:  The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the ATF are joining an investigation into an alleged plot to burn 48 churches in the Miami, Oklahoma area.

Gregory Arthur Weiler II, age 23, is in custody and Miami Police Chief George Haralson says there is no further threat to churches in the Miami area.

Weiler was in court today and officially charged with a threat to use an explosive-incendiary device and violation of the Oklahoma Anti-Terrorism Act.  More charges are expected.

Late Thursday morning officers with the Miami Police Department were called to a report of suspicious items in a dumpster at a hotel in Miami, Oklahoma.

Court documents show officers located 52 Molotov cocktails in a dumpster at the Legacy Inn and Suites in Miami, Oklahoma.

Later that afternoon the hotel contacted officers about similar contents being found in a hotel room.  A search warrant was then obtained and executed on Room 127.

Officers located materials used for creating gas bottle grenades, as well as a Molotov cocktail recipe, and a list and map of 48 churches in the area.

In the room officers also found a journal with one entry stating:

"Self Promote for the next 4 years while beginning 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 the years to follow."

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