Defense In MLK Bomb Case: Backpack Bomb Might Not Be Viable - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense In MLK Bomb Case: Backpack Bomb Might Not Be Viable

SPOKANE, Wash. – A federal judge has ordered authorities at the FBI to conduct multiple tests on makeshift bombs just days before the start of trial of a man accused of leaving an improvised explosive device in downtown Spokane.

Kevin Harpham is accused of leaving a backpack bomb along a Martin Luther King UNITY march in Spokane last January.  He pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in the case.

Defense attorneys announced the plan to call a retired ATF agent at trial to question whether the device discovered was viable and whether it could have created damage or injuries.

In response to the news filed in pre-trial paperwork last month, government attorneys reportedly constructed three similar devices they exploded in Quantico, VA at FBI facilities.

The results of the tests were recorded via photographs and video which prosecutors planed to introduce at trial this month.

Defense attorneys objected to the evidence saying their expert was not informed of the tests and cannot offer a counter opinion on the tests because he was not present during the process.

Federal judge Justin Quackenbush agreed and ordered the government to conduct more tests in conjunction in the defense team's expert.

"This is the government's fault," the judge said.  "I'm not criticizing the government for conducting the tests, but the defense is allowed to know how the test  was put together."

Trial is scheduled to start September 12. 

This story was filed by KHQ Local News Reporter Anthony Gomes

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