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Moore Enters Not Guilty Plea In Southwest Plaza Case

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Earl Albert Moore (credit: CBS)

Earl Albert Moore (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The lawyer for the suspect in the attempted bombing last month at the Southwest Plaza entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Earl Albert Moore, 65, will face a minimum of 30 years in prison if he is convicted of the federal charges against him.

The indictment of Moore was made public Friday by the U.S. District Court in Denver in advance of Moore’s afternoon appearance in court. (Read the official document.) At the court hearing the judge ordered Moore held without bail.

Moore was initially charged last week in a one-count criminal complaint with arson, but a two-count indictment handed up late Thursday by a federal grand jury supercedes the original charge.

The indictment adds a charge of using a destructive device during a crime of violence, a charge that carries a mandatory minimum 30 year sentence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver said. The arson charge carries a minimum sentence of 5 years.

Neither the criminal complaint nor an FBI affidavit supporting the charge suggest a motive for the April 20 crime. Official documents released last week described the devices found inside the mall after a small fire broke out.

That morning an employee of a formal wear store in the mall smelled smoke and noticed the fire. Investigators then found a device made of two 1 pound Coleman-style propane tanks duct taped together. There was paper stuffed between them and burnt debris alongside them. Newspaper was found stuffed between the tanks. The device had been placed on a ledge in between two sets of electrical meters and boxes. Investigators also found several burnt wooden matches.

There was also a pipe bomb made of galvanized steel with caps on both ends. When authorities tried to render the bomb safe one cap fell off and a black powder spilled out. A melted Target bag was also found attached to the device. The contents of the device were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.

An examination of mall surveillance video revealed a man entering through a restricted entrance at 11:43 a.m. with a bag and leaving at 11:44 a.m. without it.

Investigators examined sureillance video and interviewed employees at a Target store nearby. It was determined the man in the photos had purchased a two pack of Coleman Propane cannisters and a roll of 1 inch Gorilla tape at 8:06 p.m. the night before the incident. The man in the photos was then spotted on RTD bus video leaving the mall at 8:50 p.m. from a stop located behind the Target store.

An examination of DNA found on the bomb was run through a database called CODIS and it provided a positive match with Earl Albert Moore. Photographs of Moore were obtained of Moore’s Colorado driver’s license and a booking picture at the Jefferson County jail. They appeared to be the same person seen in the surveillance photos and video.

On April 24 officials had said Moore was the prime suspect in the case and a nationwide manhunt was launched. Moore was spotted in a King Soopers in South Boulder the next morning and was arrested without incident.

Moore was released from prison shortly before the attempted bombing. His appointed attorney told the magistrate last week that shortly before being released he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and has treatable Hepatitis C.

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