Mental exam sought for man accused of Oklahoma bomb plot


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An attorney for a man accused of attempting to detonate what he believed was an explosives-laden van outside an Oklahoma City bank wants a hearing to determine whether he is competent to be tried on a federal charge.

The request was filed Thursday, one day after the family of 23-year-old Jerry Drake Varnell released a statement saying Varnell is a paranoid schizophrenic who has experienced “schizophrenic delusional episodes.”

The motion filed by defense attorney Terri Coulter says Varnell has been hospitalized repeatedly since he was 16. It says Varnell’s parents were named his guardians after an Oklahoma court declared him incompetent.

Varnell was arrested Saturday for allegedly planning to detonate a vehicle bomb. He’s accused of attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in interstate commerce.

Categories: National News