Plan For Shoe Bomber’s Trial Revealed

Alleged “shoe bomber” Richard Reid is scheduled to face trial on Nov. 4, and prosecutors say they intend to illustrate his guilt via a simulation of the destruction Reid would have caused with a successful bombing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Feeley unveiled the government’s plans for Reid’s prosecution at an initial scheduling hearing on Mar. 4 at the federal courthouse in Boston.

Feeley said the prosecution hopes to simulate a detonation using explosives “prepared to be as similar as possible to those in question.” The prosecution plans to submit expert reports on the simulation and possibly introduce that testimony in court, to which U.S. District Court Judge William Young replied, “We’ll see.”

The proposed purpose of the simulation and expert reports is to show the jury how much damage Reid’s sneaker bombs could have caused had they been successfully detonated. The judge approved the government’s plan for the simulation on the condition that Reid’s lawyers and experts be present as well.

First Assistant Attorney Gerard Leone said the government has not yet decided where, when or how the simulation will occur, nor has it determined whether a plane will be involved.

Public defenders Owen Walker and Tamar Birckhead, Reid’s attorneys, declined to comment on the simulation.

Young said he “is going to require that a daily copy [of court transcripts] be posted” online during the trial. The transcripts will be posted on, which will be accessible through the court’s website for public viewing.

Feeley said aside from jury selection and other unknown factors, the prosecution “would like to think in terms of three weeks” for the anticipated length of the trial.

Both sides’ attorneys agreed on Nov. 4 as the tentative trial date but stressed that it is subject to change, as there is much investigation and research to be done.

Reid has been held in Boston since December, when the Paris-to-Miami flight he was on made an emergency landing at Boston’s Logan International Airport. A flight attendant noticed wires protruding from Reid’s sneakers, and passengers subdued him before he was able to detonate the bombs.

Reid, a 28-year-old British citizen, faces a nine-count indictment for allegedly having extensive ties with al-Qaida. Reid has pled not guilty to the charges.

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