Grand jury to review bombing

Evidence will be presented to a federal grand jury this week concerning the May 21 bombing of the Yale Law School, Norman Pattis, a lawyer representing a suspect in the case, said.

Pattis declined to say whether his client, Vincent Pergolotti Jr. in involved in the proceeding or how he received the information. Defense lawyers are not allowed to participate in grand jury proceedings, which are held in secret.

Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said he could not confirm that a grand jury hearing was scheduled.

It is not clear to whom the evidence from the investigation points. All suspects whose names have become public seemed to have been cleared of involvement in the incident.

In October, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sent a letter to Pattis, allowing him to retrieve some of the items seized in a search of Pergolotti’s trailer in August. At the time, Pattis said he believed the letter meant that Pergolotti was no longer a suspect in the case.

Norman Yarvin, 32, whose house was searched in the bombing investigation, said he has not spoken to any investigators recently. Yarvin was formerly an employee of the Yale Computer Science Department.

“People talk a lot about being cleared. I don’t think that ever happens in a case like this,” Yarvin said. “They certainly didn’t seem very suspicious of me.”

Yarvin became a suspect after police investigating a burglary in his home found pipe and gunpowder and called the FBI. Investigators who searched Yarvin’s house took several items, including drill bits and grinding wheels, from his home. The items have not yet been returned, he said.

Penn Rhodeen, the attorney representing Benjamin Johnson, another suspect in the bombing, said he had heard nothing about a grand jury hearing except what had he had been told by reporters. Though Johnson has not been officially cleared as a suspect, Rhodeen said, the investigation turned up no evidence linking him to the bombing.

“It came to nothing. I’m comfortable it’s not going anywhere,” Rhodeen said. “We have no reason whatsoever to believe that he will be the focus of [a grand jury proceeding].”

Investigators had special discretion to search Johnson, Rhodeen said, because he was still serving a sentence for first-degree larceny and criminal mischief. Johnson, 23, was convicted last year of stealing millions of dollars worth of artifacts and documents while he worked at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. He is now on parole.

Three rooms were damaged when a pipe bomb exploded in the Law School May 21. No one was injured in the blast and the building was fully repaired when students returned to campus in September.

No arrests have been made in the case.

–The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Police and firefighters gather at the scene of the May 21 Yale Law School bombing. A grand jury is scheduled to review evidence from the case this week. Charges have not been filed against any suspect at this time.
Nathan Francis
Police and firefighters gather at the scene of the May 21 Yale Law School bombing. A grand jury is scheduled to review evidence from the case this week. Charges have not been filed against any suspect at this time.

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