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Competency hearing delayed for man charged with planting pipe bomb at US military facility

The competency hearing for the man accused of setting off a pipe bomb at an Air Force recruitment center was pushed back another three weeks on Wednesday. (KTUL)

The competency hearing for the man accused of setting off a pipe bomb at an Air Force recruitment center was pushed back another three weeks on Wednesday.

Benjamin Roden has been charged with seven felonies. Authorities say Roden set off a pipe bomb on July 10, 2017 at an Air Force recruitment center in Bixby.

In the year since, Roden’s mental health has been the focus of the case. In August 2017, a judge ruled that Roden was not mentally competent to stand trial.

When the pipe bomb first went off, it was thought to be an act of domestic terrorism and made national headlines.

During the days following the pipe bomb explosion on July 10, 2017, we learned it was not the work of a terrorist, but a mentally unstable Air Force veteran, Benjamin Roden.

"Probably at 10 o'clock and I get a text from one of the guys who works here who says, 'Did you hear there was an explosion at the store?" said Seth Barnett.

Barnett hasn't forgotten that day. It's the first day he opened up his music shop, Barnett Music Exchange, and the night the bomb went off just a few doors down.

"A lot of stuff was picked up pretty quick, but you could see the doors were basically blown off," said Barnett.

An affidavit released on July 12, 2017 spelled out Roden's motive for setting off the pipe bomb. He claimed the Air Force kept him from being accepted by the US Marines. Other than the initial findings that were released, little else has come to light. A glance at court proceedings show sealed medical records and delays due to his mental instability.

On Wednesday, the trial continued. The judge reluctantly pushed back his competency hearing, later saying, “We all know how long this case has been pending.” It was pushed back three weeks after his attorney said he wasn’t receiving the proper medication while he was at David L Moss. Roden was moved there at the end of June.

According to the attorney, Roden missed “many doses” of his medication while he was at David L Moss. The attorney later told the judge, once Roden started taking his medicine, it was in pill form instead of a shot. The attorney said the medicine isn’t available at David L. Moss. She told the judge that they’re waiting for the US Marshals to figure out how to get the proper medication to Roden.

Now, a year later, there are questions still about what's going on in Roden's head and how to make him mentally competent to stand trial.

MORE I Law enforcement: Person of interest in Air Force office explosion made alarming FB post

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