Defense’s witness says autism, bullying played part in bomb scare case

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Clinical psychologist Tim Kockler gives testimony during a preliminary hearing for a teen suspect who is accused of attempting to detonate a bomb inside Pine View High School, St. George, Utah, June 20, 2018 | Photo by Chris Caldwell via Utah court pool, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Hurricane teen who brought a homemade explosive to school doesn’t understand the magnitude of the incident he created due to his having autism spectrum disorder, a psychologist testified Wednesday in 5th District Juvenile Court, according to St. George News.

Dr. Tim Kockler, a St. George-based clinical and forensic psychologist, testified on behalf of the defense for the 16-year-old boy accused of causing the Pine View High bomb scare in early March.

Kockler testified following the prosecution’s resting its case against the teen, concluding a nine-witness marathon of testimony that started Monday and carried over to that morning.

The state has charged the boy with two first-degree felonies in relation to the March 5 bomb scare. One felony is for attempted murder and the other is for possessing a weapon of mass destruction.’

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