Now that Luke Helder’s in custody, he’ll be returned to Iowa to face charges of putting pipe bombs in mailboxes that injured six people. Robert Rigg directs Drake University’s Criminal Defense Program, and he says there’s a lot of work to be done getting ready for trials in any or all of five states where he’s accused of setting the bombs.Rigg says the defender assigned to Helder’s case may prepare a defense based on mental problems, but it’s too early to have enough information.He says each county prosecutor in Iowa could file charges over what happened in their jurisdiction, in addition to whatever federal prosecutors do. Rigg says it’s likely that some or most local prosecutors will simply let the feds handle the case since it involves at least five states. Rigg says though Helder reportedly told arresting officers and other authorities he’d planted the bombs, that doesn’t mean there will not be a trial.Rigg says Helder just can’t plead guilty to everything and even if Helder gave a statement to cops or a reporter, it doesn’t make him guilty under the Constitution because that must be determined by a judge or jury. Rigg cites cases where confessions themselves have been challenged.
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