WASHINGTON — A federal magistrate judge ruled Wednesday that Floyd Ray Roseberry – the North Carolina man who live-streamed himself threatening to blow up the Library of Congress – was competent to stand trial on charges of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Roseberry appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui after a 30-day observation period by a psychologist with the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health. Last month, Dr. Theresa Grant had told Faruqui she believed Roseberry had been on medication that wasn’t effectively treating his bipolar disorder.
Grant said in her initial report at the time she believed Roseberry was not competent to stand trial, but that proper medication could change that condition. In his first appearance before Faruqui, Roseberry appeared confused about how long he had been in custody – he said it had been a week, although he had been arrested less than 24 hours prior – and said he had not been given his “mind medicine.”
On Wednesday, Faruqui ruled that the 30-day observation period and psychological treatment had returned Roseberry to a competent-enough state to stand trial.
“I have no issue with defendant Roseberry’s competency,” Faruqui said, to which both federal prosecutors and Roseberry’s defense counsel agreed.
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment for Roseberry last week on charges of threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction and threats to use explosive materials. If convicted on the first count, Roseberry faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Roseberry was taken into custody August 19 after an hours-long standoff in which he live-streamed himself from inside his pickup truck – which he had driven from North Carolina and parked on the steps of the Library of Congress. During the stream, Roseberry repeatedly called on President Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats to step down, and warned that if police fired into his truck it would trigger an explosive device.
The truck Roseberry drove from North Carolina was filled with bags and tubs of loose change, which he intimated were designed to turn the vehicle into a huge IED. Roseberry was vague about the nature of the supposed explosive device. At one point he claimed he had a “toolbox full of ammonium nitrate.” At another, he said police should ask their experts “what a 7-pound bag of gunpowder would do with 2.5-lbs. of Tannerite.”
Roseberry was eventually taken into custody without incident, and investigators determined no bomb was inside the truck – although “possible bomb-making materials” were discovered.
Prior to his arrest last month, Roseberry had a limited criminal history. North Carolina court records show he was found guilty of obstruction of police in 1993 and sentenced to 60 days in jail and 2 years of supervised probation. In 2000 he was charged with assaulting a woman, but the case was resolved in mediation and the charges were dismissed.
Roseberry entered a plea of not guilty to both counts on Wednesday. Faruqui ordered him to remain in detention in D.C. while his defense team puts together a proposal for release and continued medical treatment.
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