Court hearing for former West emergency technician postponed

15 May 2013 23:25  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)—The detention hearing and formal arraignment for former West, Texas, volunteer emergency medical technician Bryce Ashley Reed, 31, was postponed Wednesday afternoon after Reed deferred his right to the hearing just hours before the scheduled court appearance at the Waco Federal Court.

Reed was one of the first responders at the West Fertilizer explosion on 17 April and was initially arrested for unlawfully possessing an unregistered destructive device. In addition to the charge involving what federal authorities describe as a pipe bomb, a federal grand jury indicted Reed on Tuesday on a charge of possession of an unregistered firearm.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, Reed remains in custody and through his attorney will enter a not guilty plea. A future hearing on his detention and possible release on bond will be held at a later date.

If convicted, Reed could receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (€192,500). At this time authorities are still saying that a connection between Reed and the explosion, which killed 14 at the scene and injured 200, has not been established.

Reed was arrested last week after authorities discovered what has been described as a pipe bomb at a residence in the nearby community of Abbott, Texas. The person who reported the materials to police told them that the items belonged to Reed and had been left there on or about 26 April.

Authorities have recovered a section of galvanized metal pipe along with end caps, fuses and canisters of powder described in court affidavits as being potassium nitrate, aluminium powder, red iron oxide, sulfur and other elements.

Court-appointed defense attorney Jonathan Sibley said his client denies the charges against him and had nothing to do with the West Fertilizer fire or the subsequent blast. He states that his client poses no danger to the community and should be released on a reasonable amount of bond.

($1 = €0.77)


By: Mark Milam



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