A federal judge has ordered that a 40-year-old Oklahoma man accused of planting a homemade explosive device under a natural gas pipeline be given a mental health competency exam to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
In a ruling Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Judge Kimberly West said there was reasonable cause that Daniel Herriman “may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent” to stand trial. Court documents indicate Herriman is on disability with a bipolar disorder.
Herriman, a resident of Konawa, has pleaded not guilty to one count of attempting to damage or destroy property by means of an explosive.
Two Enerfin Resources employees discovered an explosive device under a gathering system pipeline near Okemah, OK, on Aug. 10. The device — two sealed polyvinyl chloride pipes containing black powder with silver finishing nails glued to the outside, a propane tank, batteries, wires, broken light bulbs and a wind-up alarm clock — was safely disarmed by federal and state law enforcement personnel (see Daily GPI, Aug. 16; Aug. 12).
Court documents reveal that Herriman contacted authorities later that day and confessed to placing the bomb under the Enerfin pipeline. A second pipeline operated by Enogex, a subsidiary of ONG Energy Corp., runs below ground at the same site. Herriman is not believed to have ties to either company.
According to documents from Thursday’s hearing, Herriman, who is being represented by a federal public defender, asked West if he could be transported to a secure facility at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center so doctors could monitor his medications. It was unclear if that request was granted because West’s order directed Herriman to be held at the Okmulgee County Jail “until a bed at a federal facility for evaluation can be obtained.”
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Clay Simmonds told NGI on Monday that the incident remains under investigation but said the FBI did not anticipate making any more arrests.
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