Judge rejects request to delay planned burning of accused bomber's home [updated]
A judge has denied a request by accused bomb-maker George Jakubec for a delay in the planned burning Thursday of his home where authorities found massive amounts of explosive materials.
[Updated at 1:45 p.m.: “If I thought there was a good reason to say hold off, I would,” said federal Judge Larry Burns in turning down the request. “But I just don’t see it.”
FBI bomb technician James Verdi told the judge that “we’ve been pushing our luck going back into the house.”
Attorney Michael Berg, who is representing Jakubec, called the ruling unfair. He has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to file an appeal with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but it is unclear whether he will do so.]
Berg said burning the home just outside the Escondido city limits should be delayed so that evidence that might help his client can be collected from inside.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has tentatively set 9 a.m. Thursday to begin torching the home to destroy the dangerous materials inside. Neighbors are being warned to evacuate and plans are to shut down a portion of nearby Interstate 15.
Jakubec, 54, an unemployed software consultant, remains in federal jail in downtown San Diego on federal bank robbery and bomb-making charges. He has pleaded not guilty. He was arrested Nov. 18 after a gardener was injured by an explosion in the home's backyard.
Officials have said burning the home is the best way to protect the neighborhood from the dangerous materials, which are the same used by bomb-making terrorists. Burning is expected to take one to three hours.
--Tony Perry in San Diego