Alleged mosque bombing plotter not fit for trial, judge finds

DETROIT — A Wayne County Judge on Monday ruled Roger Stockham, the California man accused of making terrorist threats toward the Islamic Center of America, is not mentally competent to stand trial.

Stockham is charged with making terrorist threats and possession of illegal explosives with unlawful intent. He now will remain in custody at a mental institution until he is either rehabilitated enough to stand trial or is committed to the facility.

Dearborn Police arrested Stockham in January in the Islamic Center’s parking lot with a paper grocery bag full of some legal and illegal fireworks. A local pub manager who said Stockham had just left his bar after threatening an explosion at a mosque alerted police.

Stockham’s mental competency has been the source of differing opinions since the case against him began in January. His first court-appointed attorney requested a competency exam, but was subsequently rejected as counsel by Stockham. Then, Evans stepped in and didn’t see any issue with Stockham’s mental state.

But after Stockham sent a letter to Islamic Center officials while he was in custody, Wayne County Judge Bruce Morrow ordered a competency hearing.

A Vietnam veteran and diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder sufferer, Stockham has a lengthy history of mental issues. At his arraignment in 19th District Court, Stockham’s initial court-appointed attorney – who he subsequently rejected – re-quested a mental competency exam.

Dearborn Press & Guide, 23 August 2011