U.S. Attorney Jane Duke has scheduled a news conference at 3:30 p.m. today about the federal case against Dr. Randeep Mann (pictured) and his wife, Sue. The charges relate to grenades and unregistered weapons found at the doctor's Russellville-area home.
In a hearing in the case, Mann was identified as a suspect in the bombing of Dr. Trent Pierce, who'd been chairman of the state Medical Board. Mann had been before the board for disciplinary action on his prescription practices. No one was been charged yet in the bombing of Pierce's car. He survived the blast.
UPDATE: Arkansas Business reports, and we've now also learned from a source, that Dr. Mann has been indicted in the bombing by a Little Rock grand jury. Fox 16, quoting sources, says there are three new charges against Mann, two related to the Pierce bombing.
U.S. Attorney Jane Duke (Brian Chilson photo)
UPDATE II: Here's the indictment. It adds new charges to the pre-existing indictment against Mann and his wife. The key new charges are that he conspired to bomb and did bomb -- aided by a "person or persons" unknown -- Pierce's car. There's also a charge that Mann had a prohibited material -- chloroform -- in the Pulaski County Jail, where he's been held since his arrest. The indictment provides no insight to the basis for the charges.
Gerard Matthews reports from the press conference:
Duke said she couldn't reveal much about the evidence, though prosecutors believe retaliation was a factor in the crime. She said the case was built on evidence found as a result of search warrants and information gathered from witnesses. She wouldn't discuss specifics about potential accomplices referenced in the indictment.
The chloroform? She said little about this, only that it was a small amount found in a search of his cell.
Duke said she, along with other officials, personally informed Dr. Pierce about the indictment. She said he was declining comment at this time but remained very cooperative with the investigation. A trial date has been set for March 15, 2010. Dr. Mann is currently being held by U.S. marshalls, but his exact location could not be disclosed. Duke said she is "confident" in the evidence they have collected in the case so far but asked for anyone with information regarding the bombing to come forward.