Competency hearing set for man responsible for Mitchell bomb sca - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Competency hearing set for man responsible for Mitchell bomb scare

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A competency hearing date has been set for the man who created a bomb scare in downtown Mitchell on New Year's Eve.

39-year-old Christopher Lopez has a March 28th hearing scheduled in Scotts Bluff County District Court. Last month he filed a motion of intent to rely on an insanity defense.

Lopez is being charged with 'placing a false bomb', possession of methamphetamine, and driving under suspension.

Mitchell Police Chief Mike Cotant says that on New Years Eve, Lopez parked his white Camero behind the Mitchell Police Department. Lopez had tried to give an officer the keys to his car and leave.

Further investigation revealed that a pungent liquid that smelled like kerosene had been poured on top of the vehicle before an officer approached. THe officer also noticed a bundle of cans in the dash of the vehicle with a wire leading away from them. After realizing the nature of the situation, they blocked off the area.

The Scottsbluff Police Department brought over the bomb squad's robot, and area businesses and homes were evacuated.

Many flammable items, including Kerosene, Lucas Oil, Coleman Propane fluid, were taken from the vehicle. There were also four spray paint canisters removed from the dashboard.

Officers went to Lopez' house to locate him, and found him standing in his driveway with a small pile of leaves burning. Officers ordered Lopez to the ground at gunpoint. While he was being arrested he told officers it was just cooking oil in the containers in the car.

When asked about the cans on the dash with the wire coming out of it, he told officers it was just paint and that he had held them together with speaker wire, and claimed he was using all the stuff to work on his car.

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