SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A California man who pleaded guilty to plotting to firebomb the state Democratic Party headquarters and other buildings in Northern California must undergo a psychiatric evaluation, a judge said.
The court wants more information about Ian Benjamin Rogers’ mental state before he is sentenced, Senior U.S. District Judge Charles E. Breyer wrote in an order filed in San Francisco on Friday.
Prosecutors said Rogers and another man conspired to attack targets linked to Democrats after former President Donald Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election, including the California governor’s mansion and the buildings of social networks Facebook and Twitter.
Breyer on Friday ordered the sentencing documents to be turned over to a psychiatrist to “evaluate the defendant’s mental state, recommend an appropriate course of treatment, if any, and assess the defendant’s dangerousness,” according to an order cited Monday by the Sacramento Bee.
The report is submitted within 60 days. Rogers’ Oct. 27 sentencing date has been postponed.
Rogers, of Napa, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to destroy a building in Sacramento by fire or explosives, possession of an explosive device and possession of a machine gun as part of a deal that could have earned him seven to nine years in federal prison.
But three weeks ago, Breyer rejected the proposed plea deal, saying he was concerned that Rogers had shown no remorse for his actions and told probation officers for a pre-sentence report that he felt bad just for putting himself in the situation. ” it allowed the government to destroy my life.”
The judge said: “I have to say that in… 23 years I have never seen that kind of statement. I’ve never seen a defendant come in and simply say I’m sorry I got caught.”
A co-defendant, Jarrod Copeland, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and destroying records. He was also scheduled to be sentenced on October 27.