Official: Mall Bomb Suspect Expected To Plead Guilty

Earl Moore Will Change Not Guilty Plea In Agreement With Prosecutors, Records Say

A man accused of starting a fire and planting a homemade bomb at Southwest Plaza Mall is expected to change his plea to guilty later this month, according to federal court records.

Earl Albert Moore, 65, who pleaded not guilty to arson and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence in May, is scheduled to change his plea on Dec. 30, according to an order by U.S. District Court Judge John Kane setting the change of plea hearing.

Moore's public defender, Robert Pepin, filed a notice Nov. 22 stating that Moore had “reached a plea disposition with the government" and was prepared to proceed with the change of plea hearing.

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Jeff Dorschner confirmed that Moore is expected to plead guilty. However, details of the plea agreement have not been made public.

Moore is accused of starting a fire on April 20 in a hallway near the food court at the mall in Jefferson County. The small fire was set near two small propane canisters and a pipe bomb, both rigged to go off, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

No one was injured in the fire.

The timing of the incident raised fears that the incident was connected to the anniversary of the Columbine shootings. The mall is about two miles from the school where 13 people died in 1999 and makeshift explosives -- a pipe bomb and two small propane tanks -- bore some similarities to the attacks 12 years ago.

Authorities said the fire is unrelated to Columbine but didn't release a motive.

Moore was arrested at a Boulder King Soopers after an alert shopper recognized him.

Moore was released from a federal prison in South Carolina a week before the bombing attempt. He was convicted in a 2005 bank robbery in West Virginia.

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