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Man in Oklahoma church bomb plot not guilty by reason of insanity

(Reuters) - A 25-year-old man accused of plotting to bomb numerous churches in Miami, Oklahoma, with an arsenal of Molotov cocktails was found not guilty by reason of insanity on Friday.

Gregory Weiler II was arrested in October 2012 after a maintenance worker found a discarded duffel bag full of the improvised firebombs at the Miami hotel where Weiler was staying, and the items were traced back to him, according to court records.

Weiler, who according to local media reports was from Elk Grove Village, Illinois, was charged in federal court with possession of an unregistered destructive device and jailed before facing trial.

U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan at a hearing in Tulsa, Oklahoma, found Weiler not guilty by reason of insanity, court records showed.

Eagan ordered Weiler committed to a facility until he is eligible for release, when it is found that he does not pose a threat to others, the records said. Eagan also ordered Weiler to undergo a psychiatric examination.

Federal prosecutors and Weiler, through his attorney, jointly filed court papers on Friday stating that Weiler should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

After his arrest, Weiler admitted to making the Molotov cocktails found in a dumpster and more of the incendiary devices that were in his hotel room, court papers said.

"Weiler also stated he planned to burn all of the churches in Miami, Oklahoma, using the Molotov cocktails he had manufactured," stated the joint stipulation made by prosecutors and Weiler through his attorney.

An evaluation at a medical facility in North Carolina, run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, found that Weiler experienced "severe mental illness at the time of the alleged offenses, as a result of which he was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions," the court papers state.

The type of mental illness was not specified.

Weiler, who the judge on Friday ordered transferred back to a medical facility, is scheduled to return to court on February 21 where findings of a mental health report will be presented.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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