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Dallas bomb plot suspect may take stand at hearing

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By Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — A 20-year-old Jordanian man who tried to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper could take the stand Tuesday as a federal judge considers his sentence.

Attorneys for Hosam Smadi said their client may testify during the second day of his sentencing hearing. On Monday, his father testified that Smadi became deeply depressed after his mother's death four years ago, even sleeping by her grave, and doctors provided dueling conclusions of whether Smadi suffered from mental illness.

The hearing at the federal courthouse in Dallas is just blocks away from the 60-story office tower where Smadi parked and tried to detonate what he believed was a truck bomb in September 2009. It was decoy provided by undercover FBI agents.

Smadi pleaded guilty in May to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and acknowledged in plea documents that he tried to carry out the attack. He could face life in prison, but if U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn accepts the plea deal, Smadi would likely receive a 30-year sentence and then face deportation.

In arguing for a lighter sentence Monday, his public defenders portrayed Smadi as troubled and depressed. They said he exhibited signs of depression and mental illness when his parents separated and suffered a breakdown after his mother died of cancer in 2006.


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