Bixby Pipe Bomb Suspect Appears In Federal Court

Friday, July 14th 2017, 8:51 am

A Tulsa man investigators say is responsible for a pipe bomb explosion outside a Bixby Air Force Recruiting Center may have a mental health issue.

Benjamin Roden, 28, appeared in federal court on Friday on one count of malicious damage to federal property by use of explosive, two counts of destruction of federal property and a count of using an explosive to commit a federal felony.

The FBI says they found Roden and two more pipe bombs at his apartment near 61st and Riverside on Tuesday, a day after the bombing.

7/12/2017 Related Story: Court Records List Evidence Against Bixby Bombing Suspect

Roden was in court Friday, in handcuffs shackled to a chain around his waist. He didn't say anything in court where his mental health was questioned.

Roden's attorney, in court documents, described Roden as having extreme paranoia and exhibiting bizarre behavior.

They believe his mental health has been declining for several months.

Before the bombing, Roden had expressed some anger online over his treatment by the Air Force, where he served two years, before going into the Air National Guard in Tulsa, where he was discharged this past April.

Because of the nature of the crime, he's being held without bail and will stay in the county jail for the mental health evaluation.

The reports are due in 30 days and if he's found competent the case against him will continue. He then would have to enter a plea and the judge would decide on whether gets out on bond.

The explosion caused structural damage to the recruiting center, located in a shopping center just off South Memorial Drive.  No one was injured in the blast.

Benjamin Roden was a former airman who served active duty in the Air Force for two years then served in the Air Force Reserves.  He was trained as a firefighter and electrician, records show. 


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