UPDATE (2:45 p.m.)
According to documents filed Thursday in Amarillo Federal Court, Erfan Salmanzadeh has pled not guilty to his federal charges after being suspected of causing an explosion In southwest Amarillo in July.
The court documents said that Amarillo Federal Court officials granted Salmanzadeh’s request to waive his appearance at an arraignment and to enter a not guilty plea to all counts in the indictment. According to previous reports, Salmanzadeh was federally charged with one count of possession of a destructive device in late July 2021.
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Amarillo division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas officially filed documents Wednesday confirming that Erfan Salmanzadeh, the person suspected of causing an explosion at a home in southwest Amarillo in July 2021, is competent to stand trial.
This comes after officials from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas confirmed to MyHighPlains.com on April 15 that a recent competency hearing found that Salmanzadeh was mentally competent to stand trial. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, Salmanzadeh was federally charged with one count of possession of a destructive device in late July 2021. Salmanzadeh was also charged by the state with possession of components of explosives.
According to previous reports, first responders responded to a reported explosion at a home in the 3600 block of Lenwood Drive on July 2021, leading to 14 homes being evacuated. At the scene, officials found numerous explosive materials as well as an improvised explosive device.
The hearing was initially called after the Court found that there was a reasonable cause that Salmanzadeh could be suffering from a mental disease or defect that could impact his ability to understand the proceedings. According to court documents released on Wednesday, officials from the court found that there was a “preponderance of… evidence” to find that Salmanzadeh could understand the proceedings.
“…(The) Defendant has recovered to such an extent that he is able to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him and to assist in his defense,” the documents read.
According to the documents, Salmanzadeh was ordered to be discharged from the facility he was hospitalized in and is “remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal until the time of trial.”
Salmanzadeh is expected to appear for an arrangement and detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Amarillo Federal Courthouse, located at 205 S. E Fifth Ave. Salmanzadeh is expected to appear before Magistrate Judge Lee Ann Reno.