Judge won’t grant new trial for ’06 SLC Library bombing

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has refused to grant a new trial for a man convicted in a 2006 bombing  of the city library, but appeared to leave open the possibility of an appeal.

In a ruling handed down Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups denied Thomas Zajac’s motion for a new trial. However, the judge said he was granting a certificate of appealability, allowing higher-level courts to consider an appeal.

Zajac was convicted by a jury in 2010 for the bombing, where a small device exploded on the third floor of the Salt Lake City Library. A device was placed by a chair in a fast-food bag. The judge noted that “video quality was insufficient to show conclusively that Mr. Zajac was the man in the video, but Mr. Zajac’s wife and his daughter testified it was him.” Zajac’s fingerprint was found on a piece of cardstock located among bomb remnants, the ruling said.

Zajac wanted a new trial claiming evidence mishandling, misconduct, failure to prove the elements of each count and ineffective assistance of counsel. The judge ruled that there was not enough to grant a new trial, but said there were questions about misstatements during closing arguments and defense strategy that it warranted certification for a potential appeal.

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