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MLK parade bomb suspect to change plea

An FBI evidence photo shows the backpack that held a pipe bomb. It was found along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade in January.

The man accused of planting a backpack bomb along the Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane is set to change his plea today. Kevin Harpham originally entered a plea of not guilty in what the FBI has deemed a case of domestic terrorism.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham was arrested in March. He faces charges related to a pipe bomb that Spokane city workers found on a downtown bench the morning of Jan. 17. Prosecutors later added federal hate crime charges. Together, the allegations carry a sentence of up to life in prison.

Now, Harpham is due in court to change his plea from not guilty. The Associated Press reports that defense attorneys negotiated a deal with prosecutors.

Only a few things are known about the government's case against Harpham, as many of the court documents remain sealed.

Prosecutors recently disclosed that Harpham took photos of himself and parade participants on Martin Luther King Day. His web activity indicates the former soldier from rural northeast Washington has Neo-Nazi ties.

A federal judge had set Harpham's trial date for this coming Monday.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

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.