Exactly one year after the bombing which nearly killed him, the head of the Arkansas State Medical Board is back at work in Little Rock.
Dr. Trent Pierce is still recovering from the car bombing outside his home. A fellow doctor is now charged in the attack. Pierce is back doing what's comfortable for him, chairing a meeting Thursday of the state medical board.
Pierce was supposed to preside over the same meeting one year ago but a device near his car exploded in the driveway of his West Memphis home. Pierce lost his left eye in the attack and suffered extensive facial injuries. Nearly a year later, a break in the case came when prosecutors charged Russellville physician
Randeep Mann with the bombing.
The government says he used a weapon of mass destruction to blow up Pierce's car in retaliation for the medical board taking away his license to prescribe prescription narcotics. The board took the action after two dozen patients died in Mann's care.
At the time of the indictment, the ATF spoke to the severity of the attack.
"Using explosives in a criminal act is a very violent crime,” special agent Phil Durham said in January. “No one knows exactly what an explosive can do to an individual. Obviously Dr. Pierce suffered immense damage, injuries and he's lucky to be alive today."
The U.S attorney's office is withholding any other comment on the investigation until Mann's scheduled trial next month. However the investigation is not over. Perhaps part of the reason Pierce is still reluctant to talk about what happened to him.
"I can not make a statement, thank you very much," Pierce said Thursday.
Expect that silence to be broken when Pierce is called to testify against his accused attacker.
Mann has been in federal custody since his arrest last march for illegal possession of nearly 100 grenades. His trial is set for March 15 in U.S. District Court in downtown.