SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for an alleged Utah militia leader who authorities say tried to blow up a remote Bureau of Land Management cabin continue to plow through volumes of electronic evidence.
William Keebler, 57, remains behind bars pending trial on charges of attempting to damage federal property with an explosive and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. A trial date has not been set.
On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Warner gave Keebler's defense lawyers three months to go through the evidence and set another hearing for March. He told attorneys to be prepared to schedule a trial at that time.
"None of us are comfortable with this twisting in the wind, so to speak," Warner said.
Prosecutors say Keebler, of Stockton, headed a militia consisting of seven members, including three undercover FBI agents.
Keebler's attorney, Lynn Donaldson, contends agents built the explosive device and placed it against the cabin door before handing Keebler the remote detonator.
Prosecutors argue Keebler wanted to use explosives and was also willing to shoot people if anyone came after the group when he detonated the device. He had an AR-15-style gun, a handgun and a lot of ammo, they say.
Keebler took video of an unidentified mosque and cased federal offices before settling on the BLM cabin in northern Arizona, prosecutors contend.
The FBI started investigating Keebler after he took part in a 2014 armed standoff with federal officials at Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch over unpaid grazing fees. Bundy and his sons Ryan and Ammon are scheduled to go trial in February on charges related to the standoff.