A 50-year-old Army veteran who was arrested after an eight-hour standoff with federal agents back in September and charged with threatening to kill President Barack Obama will undergo a competency evaluation at a federal institution in Colorado.
The trial of Roman Otto Conaway was set to begin on Nov. 15. But last week federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Illinois agreed to a defense motion which delayed the trial so Conaway could undergo a competency evaluation in Englewood, Colorado. The U.S. Marshal’s Service removed Conaway from Illinois in late October and as of last week were transferring him to the new location in Colorado, according to court documents reviewed by TPMMuckraker.The process of determining mental competency is expected to take approximately ninety days, and a judge ordered the trial be continued until Tuesday, Feb. 22.
After a county judge had barred him from contacting his grandchildren, Conaway allegedly planned to ignite a war between Muslims and Christians and “start an apocalypse.” His Facebook page showed that he planned to burn a Koran.
Conaway claimed a bulky belt he was wearing during the standoff and three storage containers located on his property were packed with explosives, authorities said. One of the conditions of Conaway’s surrender to federal authorities was that he be given a mental health evaluation. Charged with making false threats to detonate an explosive device and threatening the president, he could face up to five years in prison.
Conaway was found to be indigent at a hearing in September, and the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Illinois was appointed as his counsel. Public defender Phillip J. Kavanaugh did not immediately respond to a message left Monday.