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Spokane backpack bomb suspect plea: not guilty

FBI evidence photo of backpack found on a downtown Spokane street corner bench.
FBI evidence photo of backpack found on a downtown Spokane street corner bench.

The Colville man accused of planting a bomb along Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade route pleaded not guilty today.

It was Kevin Harpham’s second appearance in federal court. The 36 year old wore a tan Spokane County Jail uniform and ankle shackles. His plea means the case is now headed to trial.

Federal prosecutors have so far divulged very little of their case against Harpham. Outside the U.S. Courthouse, reporters asked Harpham’s attorney, Roger Pevenn, why the case is so secret …

“You know that’s what asked as well, and I’m not sure of the answer. I don’t to speculate. I will know a lot more this afternoon when I read some of the material,” says Peven.

He said it will be his first chance to review documents laying out evidence in the case.

Harpham faces charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device. The unexploded bomb was found in a backpack on January 17 in downtown Spokane. If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to life in prison.

Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.