A man who told police of a potential bomb threat at the 1st District Courthouse two weeks ago in Logan is to receive a competency evaluation to determine his ability to proceed in the case.
Zachary Aaron Kidd, 35, faces a single count of second-degree threat of terrorism for an incident on Jan. 31 where he made statements to police about an “active bomb threat” at the courthouse.
Kidd briefly appeared in 1st District Court for a continued initial appearance from the Cache County Jail on Monday. Kidd was appointed counsel and was set to appear before the court again on Feb. 24.
According to documents filed with the court on Wednesday, Judge Brian Cannell ordered a competency evaluation for Kidd to be performed by the Department of Human Services. Defense counsel indicated in the document that Kidd was unable to engage meaningfully with his attorneys and “does not appear to have a rational and factual understanding of the seriousness of the charges currently pending against him.”
While speaking generalities and not specifically about Kidd’s case, Cache County prosecutor Barbara Lachmar told The Herald Journal that there are avenues for treatment when mental health contributes to one’s case in a significant way such as mental health court and guilty but mentally ill pleas that can facilitate treatment through the court. However, Lachmar said there aren’t many resources with capable personnel that can detain the accused while maintaining the “delicate balancing act” of victim, defendant and public safety.
“We’ve got to be concerned about their welfare; we also have to be concerned about the safety of the community,” Lachmar said. “We try to do the best we can to balance that so everybody’s needs are met.”
In an effort to make jail a short-term situation, Lachmar said attorneys attempt to push these cases along quickly to facilitate treatment.
“We don’t want to punish the mentally ill,” Lachmar said. “We want to get them help.”
According to an affidavit filed with the court, police responded to a report of Kidd “acting strange and mumbling about a bomb threat” around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Kidd told police there was “an active bomb threat” at the courthouse and that “there are two judges trying to play dirty.”
Kidd told police the courthouse needed to be cleared and that his vehicle was located at the building. Officers located Kidd’s car parked on the lawn and walkway of the courthouse near the front entrance, police wrote. The USU Police bomb dog was utilized and no explosives were located.
While being interviewed by police, Kidd said the bomb “didn’t exist yet,” and that he didn’t know what was inside his car, but he continued to make statements about an active bomb threat.
“I am not the threat,” Kidd told police, “I’m the warning.”
Kidd later told police there was not an explosive device in his car, but did not know if there was one in the building. Police allege Kidd made “threatening statements” toward judges and said one specific judge “needs to die.”
Kidd was booked into the Cache County Jail on Feb. 1, where he is currently being incarcerated.