Accused Backpack Bomber Pleads Not Guilty - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Accused Backpack Bomber Pleads Not Guilty, Trial Date Set

KHQ.COM - One day after a grand jury indicted Kevin Harpham on charges he placed a backpack bomb in downtown Spokane, the Stevens County pleaded not guilty in federal court.

Harpham was indicted Tuesday afternoon on two counts including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device.  If convicted, he could face life in prison. Harpham's trial date will be May 31st.

Evidence detailing why the US Attorney believes Harpham left the device is sealed in court documents, which could be unsealed in the coming weeks.

Three workers found a backpack along the parade route about to be used by marchers celebrating Martin Luther King Day in January.  The Spokane Police Department re-routed the parade away from the device later determined to be a pipe bomb.

Federal authorities have not outlined why the device was left downtown, but the FBI has previously described the proximity of the nearby MLK Unity March as "inescapable."

Federal agents and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Harpham on March 9 after a two-month investigation that relied on DNA testing and the sale of materials from local stores.

Kevin Harpham's father, Bill, tried to provide an alibi for Kevin telling KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes that Kevin was home all-day on Martin Luther King Day.  Bill had a stroke in November.  He said Kevin lived with him full-time to help with chores around the house.

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