Hearing postponed in Rail Road Flat bomb case

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

The preliminary hearing was continued for a West Point man who pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of helping bomb the Rail Road Flat Store last August.

Roger Brian Gibbings, 32, agreed yesterday in Calaveras County Superior Court to waive his right to a speedy trial. His next hearing will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21.

His Valley Springs attorney, Brain Chavez-Ochoa, asked Judge Douglas Mewhinney for the continuance so he could have more time to build his defense.

Gibbings is charged with possessing and selling or transporting a destructive device. He was arraigned July 14 and remains in the Calaveras County Jail in lieu of $60,000 bail.

Gibbings was arrested July 10 after months of eluding authorities. The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department had issued an arrest warrant for him days after a pipe bomb explosion shut down the tiny town of Rail Road Flat.

The pipe bomb that exploded at 2 a.m. Aug. 26, 2002, in front of the Railroad Flat Store broke a store window and sent metal pieces through two walls at the newly constructed Railroad Flat Elementary School. Pieces also gouged a tree and posts at the store.

After the explosion, the town a restaurant, post office, the store and school was cordoned off while county and state investigators scoured the area for clues.

The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department made one arrest then-22-year-old Glynn Edward McNabb Jr. and issued warrants for Gibbings and another suspect.

The search for Gibbings intensified after a pipe bomb exploded at the Calaveras County Government Center on June 30. Federal, state and county authorities learned that Gibbings had been staying with his mother in West Point. After following him around for a few days, they arrested him.

McNabb is serving an eight-year sentence for two counts of possessing a destructive, flammable device.

Calaveras County Sheriff's Department Lt. Gary Kuntz said earlier today that he's not aware of any ongoing search for the third suspect.

11507864
The Union Democrat
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