A North Hollywood man who called himself the "messiah" and wanted to become secretary general of the United Nations was ordered Thursday to stand trial for sending explosives to several Los Angeles television stations.
Daniel Paul Evans, 54, faces nine felony counts for explosive-related offenses. He was arrested in August after police searched his home and found 23 small, Mexican-made illegal explosives commonly known as M-80s, identical to ones mailed to the newsrooms of KCBS, KCAL, KNBC, KTLA and KTTV, as well as the Los Angeles Times, in April 1995. None of the devices exploded.
At a preliminary hearing in Burbank Municipal Court, Public Defender Eric Zucker asked a judge to drop the charges and described the defendant as "a confused, troubled man who was crying out for attention," and said he "never intended to harm or scare anyone."
Evans, who will be arraigned in Burbank Superior Court Jan. 24, has "psychiatric and psychological issues" that will be raised at his trial, Zucker said.
Prosecutor David Conn successfully argued for upholding the charges, saying "there is sufficient evidence [Evans] intended to intimidate" the media.
Authorities previously said the homemade explosive device Evans allegedly mailed to media outlets was capable of "blowing off a hand" or "putting out an eye" if detonated. Each device consisted of an M-80 taped to an empty glass cylinder, apparently meant to scatter shards when it exploded.
But detectives testifying in court Thursday declined to call the device a "bomb," saying they were unsure how much damage it could cause.
The devices were mailed in cardboard boxes and accompanied by a 77-page manifesto. In the document, police said, Evans talked about growing up in the 1960s and described himself as a "cosmic, surreal leader" of the rock music culture, and that to become U.N. secretary general and usher in a utopian era of racial harmony, he needed rock musicians "to recognize me as the nebulous root of the '60s."