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Change-up in Pipe Bombing Case

The pipe bomb exploded a year ago at the Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica. A new attorney will represent Ron Hirsch at hearing to determine if he should be forced to take medication to stand trial.

A new attorney has been appointed to represent Ron Hirsch, accused of detonating a pipe bomb last spring at a Santa Monica Hebrew school, after his original defense was suspended by the California Bar.

San Bernadino-based attorney Robert D. Little had represented Hirsch since his arrest in April and was preparing for a hearing for a federal court to determine if his client should be forced to take medication. Hirsch had previously been found incompetent to stand trial.

But Little's license was suspended Sept. 15 after he was convicted of identity theft.

Hirsch was indicted May 3, 2011 on charges stemming from an incident April 7, when a pipe bomb exploded from inside a trash can outside the Chabad House at 1428 17th St. The explosion launched the steel pipe into the side of the Chabad House before it landed on the roof of a nearby home.

Authorities found and arrested Hirsch at a synagogue in Cleveland Heights, OH. He was charged with use of an explosive to commit a federal felony, use of a destructive device during a crime of violence and possession of an unregistered destructive device. If convicted on all counts, he faces a minimum sentence of 45 years in prison.

Two reports from the Bureau of Prisons have found Hirsch is incompetent to stand trial. Hirsch's new attorney, Los Angeles-based Lawrence Litman, will represent him Oct. 18 at the Sell Hearing to determine if he should be involuntarily medicated.

The hearing was continued from July 27 to give a psychiatrist selected by Hirsch, Dr. Matthew Carol, time to prepare his own report.

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