Trial of Martin Luther King Day Bomber Pushed Back

A federal judge thinks the MLK celebrations in D.C. will unfairly influence the jury.

Posted: 08/17/2011 12:05 PM EDT

An alleged MLK day bomber’s trial has been put on hold due to fears that publicity related to the King memorial will jeopardize the man’s chances of a truly impartial jury. 


The trial was originally scheduled to begin on Aug. 22, but on Friday a federal judge re-set the date for Sep.12 to prevent the jury from being influenced by the fanfare surrounding the unveiling of a memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28.


“Justice isn't something that we just give lip service to,” U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said. “It is, in fact, fairness.”


D.C. Officials expect scores of people to attend the memorial dedication on Aug. 28 where President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak. To commemorate the event, there’s a week of festivities planned leading up to the ceremony.


Kevin Harpam, 37, is being tried in a domestic terrorism case stemming from an alleged, attempted bombing that occurred during a parade honoring King. Authorities defused the bomb before it could explode.


Harpham, who has been linked to white supremacist groups, could face life in prison if convicted.

(Photo: Law Enforcement)