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Former IU Student Returned To Bloomington For Trial

Last updated on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

(BLOOMINGTON) - A former IU student arrested in January for attempting to manufacture an explosive device was transported from the Marion County Jail to the Monroe County Jail for his upcoming trial.

20-year-old Ryder Pickens pleaded not guilty in his initial hearing in late January. He is being held on a $1 million bond. In late February, his attorney filed a notice for an insanity defense.

Pickens was arrested after officers were called to a home in the 400 block of East Varsity Lane on January 16 to make a welfare check after a friend reported Pickens had several dangerous chemicals and a hazardous material suit and other items associated with a laboratory in his basement.

Officers obtained a search warrant and seized several containers of chemicals and lab equipment. According to police, Pickens had lawfully purchased the items from an online vendor. He was transported by officers to the Health Hospital for an immediate detention and a mental evaluation.

On January 17, officers seized a package addressed to Pickens which contained laboratory glassware and several chemicals associated with bomb making.

On January 22, a forensic exam was conducted on Pickens' computer, and investigators found search queries for weapons of mass destruction, effects of Sarin gas, Agent Blue, and the chemical components for Agent Orange. That same day, Pickens was released from the IU Health Hospital and was arrested on a felony charge of attempted manufacturing of an explosive device.

He was transported to Marion County where he was wanted on charges of battery causing injury, resisting law enforcement and criminal mischief from a 2013 case.

A trial date has been set for May 19. No trial date has been set in the explosive case.

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