Sixteen months after he was arrested, Randeep Mann finally gets to hear from witnesses in the government's case against him, starting with Melissa Pierce. On the first day of testimony, statements were poignantly clear.
Methodical, regimented, repetitive, his wife says. That's just how Trent Pierce is. Melissa Pierce told jurors on the morning of February 4, 2009, her husband walked out of their home as he always did.
"I heard the most god awful sound you've ever heard," she recalled.
She then ran outside and found her husband sitting up right by his damaged SUV.
He said to her, "Get my wife, she's inside."
Melissa said: "I'm right here."
She went onto testify that her husband was charred, hair singed, with bags of blood hanging from his eyes. Then, there was detailed graphic testimony describing his injuries
and the violence inflicted.
Prosecutors also emphasized Pierce's repetitive daily routine to show if someone wanted to hurt him, they could.
Jurors already know there is no forensic evidence linking Randeep Mann to the bombing, but prosecutors say there is plenty of motive. They told jurors the Russellville doctor faced the possibility of losing his medical license and acted out against the chairman of the state medical board.
Another witness, Velma Gales, the Pierce's maid, told jurors she saw what looked like a spare tire leaning up against Pierce's car less than an hour before the bomb went off that day. The maid also went back five months after the attack and told police she saw a suspicious man, she described as Iranian, standing outside the Pierce home the night before the bombing. Mann is from India. Defense attorneys asked if the person she saw that night was Mann, she said "No."
The maid waited five months to tell authorities about the man she saw outside their home. She said she was afraid she would be attacked too. She then told police that Trent Pierce was a nice man and she had too. She says she’s still scared today that someone will attack her.
In addition to the bombing, Mann is also on trial for having unregistered grenades and guns
.His wife Sangeeta is on trial too
for allegedly conspiring with her husband in interfering with the government's investigation.
The federal trial is expected to last four weeks.