Accused Bomber Found Not Guilty Faces Second Trial

Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 19:56:20-04

A man accused of trying to bomb his estranged wife was acquitted only to be arrested for a second time minutes after the decision on other charges.

Mitchell Hunter Oakes was found not guilty after a three-week trial in federal court. U.S. Attorneys argued that Oakes planted a pipe bomb in the woman's car in the parking lot of NHC Cool Springs.

Police responded to a report of an explosive at the senior care facility in Williamson County back in 2016. Later, Oakes was arrested and charged with planting a pipe bomb.

"The opening statement of the government mentioned that the estranged wife was supposed to die that day, and that our client almost got away with murder," said David Komisar, who along with David Cooper and John Morris represent Oakes.

The defense argued the evidence didn't add up and offered an alternative explanation. 

"We believe he was framed," said Komisar.

At trial they suggested, among other things, that Oakes' estranged wife could have planted the bomb in the car, something she denied.

"About three minutes after the acquittal the Marshals took him into custody and we found out that Williamson County had him charged on one count of attempted murder," said Cooper.

Different charge. Same set of facts.

"He was crushed, broken-hearted and said what else do I have to do," said Komisar.

Oakes remains locked up on $4 million bond despite a federal jury clearing him. You're wondering: Isn't this double jeopardy? Nope.

The new trial, likely to happen next year, is in state not federal court.

"I think it's going to be the same evidence, but wrapped up in a different package," said Cooper. The Williamson County District Attorney would not comment on the evidence, but said she's confident in the prosecution of the case.

Oakes attorneys said their client will not consider any plea offer, and they plan to ask a judge that Oakes be released on his own recognizance while awaiting trial.