Bombing suspect heading to court

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By SCOTT PESZNECKER

A West Point man who pleaded not guilty in July to charges of helping bomb the Rail Road Flat Store last summer will face a preliminary hearing tomorrow.

Roger Brian Gibbings, 32, will appear in Calaveras County Superior Court at 2 p.m. After hearing testimony, Judge Douglas Mewhinney will decide whether there is enough evidence to order Gibbings to stand trial on the charges.

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

Chavez-Ochoa could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Gibbings was charged with one count each of possessing and selling or transporting a destructive device at his July 14 arraignment.

He is being held 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 issued an arrest warrant for him days after a pipe bomb explosion shut down the tiny town of Rail Road Flat in August of 2002.

The pipe bomb that exploded at 2 a.m. Aug. 26 in front of the Rail Road Flat Store broke a store window and sent metal pieces through two walls at the new Rail Road 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 person suspected to be connected with the bombing.

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, officers arrested him in early July.

11508880
The Union Democrat
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