TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 21-year-old Topeka man is due in federal court more than three months after admitting to plotting to bomb a northeast Kansas military installation. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia was holding a hearing today (FRI) on the status of John T. Booker Jr.'s case. Booker pleaded guilty in February to two charges arising from his arrest in April 2015 outside Fort Riley as he tried to arm what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb. Booker acknowledged in court that he was trying to help the Islamic State group. He signed a plea agreement with prosecutors that would have him serve 30 years in prison. But Murguia has yet to schedule a sentencing hearing for Booker. Booker initially faced three felony charges and a sentence of life in prison.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Public defenders have withdrawn from representing a Topeka man who pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges and admitted to plotting to bomb a northeast Kansas military installation. Defense attorney Melody Brannon said Friday during a brief federal court hearing that a potential conflict of interest had developed with 21-year-old John T. Booker Jr. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia granted a request from Brannon and fellow public defender Kirk Redmond to withdraw and plans to appoint a private attorney. Booker was arrested last year outside Fort Riley trying to arm what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb and later acknowledged attempting to help the Islamic State group. His February plea agreement with prosecutors calls for a 30-year prison sentence. Murguia has yet to schedule a sentencing hearing for Booker.