Its been a year and a half since a bomb exploded seriously injuring the head of the state medical board. Now, a fellow doctor is convicted of the crime.
This morning a federal jury convicted Russellville doctor, Randeep Mann on seven out of 8 charges.
On day three of deliberations, the jury found Dr. Randeep Mann guilty of several crimes, the most significant -using or aiding and abetting in the use of a weapon of mass destruction to cause injury to a person.
Both sides admit this was a circumstantial case with no hard physical evidence tying Dr. Mann to the bombing---but the jury found him guilty after 5 weeks and one day of trial, finally, resolution in the case of one Arkansas doctor accused of bombing another.
Arkansas Eastern District U.S. Attorney Jane duke said, "obviously today's jury verdict is a final chapter in what has been a long and harrowing road for many people not the last of which dr. Trent Pierce and his wife Melissa. "
The family of Dr. Randeep and Sangeeta Mann rushed out upset at the news.
These jurors found Dr. Randeep Mann guilty of using a grenade in a spare tire in an attack on the president of the state medical board, Dr. Trent Pierce.
Prosecutor Karen Whatley said, "In this case it was difficult however we had a lot more evidence than just forensic evidence, you don't have to have forensic evidence every time you try a case and I think the jury understood and took every piece of evidence we had in this case it was a circumstantial case but we were able o put it together."
The explosion almost killed Dr. Pierce, taking his eye and permanently disfiguring his face.
The prosecution pointed the finger at Dr. Randeep Mann.
Saying he wanted revenge on the board for cracking down on his drug prescribing practices,
Attorneys presented over a 1000 pieces of evidence, including weapons confiscated from Dr. Mann's home and a witness who claimed Dr.Mann asked him to "finish the job, " But nothing that tied Dr. Mann to the crime scene.
Defense Attorney Blake Hendrix said, "We believe there was a lack of evidence supporting every one of the convictions in particular the bombing count which was fairly shocking. "
Altogether Dr. Mann was convicted of two charges of using a weapon of mass destruction, three charges for possessing unregistered or an illegal firearm and two for conspiring to or actually obstructing an official proceeding
His wife Sangeeta Mann was also found guilty on one count of obstructing an official proceeding.
The defense says they will appeal the verdicts.
But that could take months
A date has not been set for sentencing that could take 2 or three months. In the meantime, Dr. Mann will stay behind bars, and his wife will stay free.
We talked to an ATF agent who says they are still investigating whoever co-conspired with Dr. Mann to plant the bomb. More arrests and charge could come out of this case--they say the only person with the answer is Dr. Mann. And he is not cooperating.
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