AIKENS TRIAL: Alexandria bomber guilty on all federal counts
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - On Nov. 18, a jury for the Western District of Louisiana found Daniel Aikens, 40 of Alexandria, guilty on all federal counts in connection to a series of explosive devices between September 2019 and January 2020.
Aikens was arrested in Alexandria after a Jan. 2, 2020 explosion outside of Payday Today loan company on MacArthur Drive.
He was charged with three counts each of making a destructive device and possession of a destructive device in violation of the National Firearms Act. He also faced one count each of using an explosive to commit a federal felony and conveying malicious false information.
Those charges are in connection to three separate incidents, which include a Jan. 2, 2020 pipe bomb explosion outside PayDay Today in Alexandria, a Dec. 20, 2019, pipe bomb explosion in a field next to a Texaco on Jackson Street and a Sept. 12, 2019, pressure cooker bomb outside Cloyd’s Beauty School in Monroe.
The Monroe incident resulted in burn injuries to Joseph Matthew, the beauty school owner. For the Payday Today incident, Aikens called the loan company from what prosecutors called “the bomb phone,” threatening the employee who picked up the phone at the business and demanding $10,000 after he set off the explosion.
During closing arguments, the prosecutions laid out the timeline of events for the jury, from purchases of items used to make the bomb, DNA evidence found on a bomb and numerous images and videos used to demonstrate Aikens’ involvement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamilla Bynog described Aikens as a “man on a mission.”
Meanwhile, the defense argued the U.S. Government built a case against Aikens instead of thoroughly investigating other individuals as suspects, including one the defense alleged to be a state witness.
His sentencing will be on March 3, 2023.
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