Trial for MLK bomb changed to avoid unveiling

Trial for MLK bomb changed to avoid unveiling
This undated booking photo released by the Spokane County Sheriff's office, shows Kevin Harpham. (AP Photo/Spokane County Sheriff)
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The trial of a man charged with planting a bomb at the Martin Luther King Jr. day parade in Spokane, Wash., has been delayed over concerns that publicity about a King memorial being unveiled in Washington, D.C., the same week could influence the jury.

A federal judge changed defendant Kevin Harpham's trial date in the domestic terrorism case on Friday.

It was scheduled to start later this month but is now set for Sept. 12 - one day after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The judge also ruled Friday that statements Harpham made to the FBI prior to being read his rights could not be used in the trial.

The bomb was found by authorities and defused before it could explode.

Harpham, 37, who has extensive ties to white supremacist groups, has pleaded not guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, committing a hate crime and other charges. He could face life in prison if convicted.

U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said several times during Friday's hearing that he was worried about the impact of the King ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on the original Aug. 22 trial date.

"Justice isn't something that we just give lip service to," Quackenbush said. "It is, in fact, fairness."

District of Columbia officials are gearing up to honor King in the days before a memorial in his honor is dedicated on the National Mall. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the memorial dedication on Aug. 28.

There will be a week of events leading up to the ceremony. The White House says President Barack Obama will speak at the unveiling of the memorial.

The new memorial to the civil rights leader sits on the National Mall near the Tidal Basin, between monuments honoring Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.