Grand jury gets case of man accused of mannequin bomb plot


ALLIANCE, Ohio (AP) — A grand jury will decide whether a man accused of plotting to blow up an Ohio police station and use armed mannequins to distract responding officers should be indicted on felony charges.

Alliance Municipal Court Judge Andrew Zumbar on Wednesday forwarded felony charges of retaliation and possessing weapons under a disability against Timothy Ward, 51, of Hartville, to a Stark County grand jury to consider.

Police Detective M.D. Jones testified that guns and bomb making materials were recovered from the Lake Township home of Ward’s father, where Ward has a bedroom, The (Alliance) Review reported.

Lake Township is about 40 miles south of Cleveland.

Prosecutors said Ward was planning an attack to retaliate against Marlboro Township police for a 2008 arrest.

Ward had been accused of tying his wife to a chair and threatening to kill her while he went off to fight demons. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and barred from possessing firearms. He was released from community supervision last year.

Police were notified in June by a former girlfriend that he was planning to use mannequins to attack the police station. In response, federal and local law enforcement officials searched the homes of Ward and his father June 15.

Authorities have said Ward, using the pseudonym “Joe Smith,” posted videos to YouTube that included artwork signed by “Comrade,” mannequins dressed in patriotic garb and Bible recitations by candlelight.

Ward’s elderly father, Jim Ward, told WJW-TV last week he was aware his son had mannequins but didn’t think he would hurt anyone.

Ward’s bond is set at $1 million.

His public defender, Angel Ruhl, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday.

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