Local terror plot suspect competent for trial

Posted at 11:39 AM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 12:37:01-04

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Christopher Cornell, accused of plotting to bomb the U.S. Capitol, is competent to stand trial.

A psychologist who has met repeatedly with a suburban Ohio man accused of plotting an attack in support of the Islamic State group says he has begun referring to himself again by his birth name and appears competent to stand trial.

The testimony by the defense witness Monday came during a competency hearing in Cincinnati for Christopher Lee Cornell, whose attorneys had raised questions about his mental state.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith said she is moving ahead with plans to set a trial date. Beckwith earlier ordered a mental evaluation of 22-year-old Cornell.

Cornell has been held without bond since his January 2015 arrest near Cincinnati. He has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees.

Cornell's father said he was misled and coerced by "a snitch."