Tabor Bombing Suspect Awaits Competency Evaluation

TYNDALL — The case of a Tabor man suspected in a bombing incident last summer remains on hold after a status hearing Tuesday.

Joseph Thomas Hansen is currently being held in the Bon Homme County Jail while his defense attorney, Luci Youngberg, arranges a mental evaluation for her client.

Youngberg filed a motion Tuesday asking Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering to extend the deadline for Hansen’s competency evaluation. In the motion, Youngberg said that all necessary records were received by clinical psychologist Taryn Van Gilder-Pierce as of Jan. 6, but that due to personnel sickness with COVID and other illness, the evaluation could not be completed in the time allotted.

Gering ordered the deadline for the competency evaluation be extended to Feb. 4 and scheduled a status hearing at 11 a.m. on Feb. 11.

Hansen came to the attention of authorities last August when he was found unresponsive in his driveway with thermal burns after his house in Tabor exploded.

A search of the structure uncovered two fully assembled pipe bombs and nine empty capped pipes next to a fuse and fireworks.

Hansen later told police that he was planning to make 12 pipe bombs using the powder from the fireworks, but that he had only completed three to five pipe bombs when one of them exploded. He also told investigators that he had gasoline and a propane bottle in his room.

When Hansen was 18, and lived in Claire City, he was convicted in bombing plot. At the time, he was found guilty of possessing ammunition and fireworks as part of a plan to blow up Sisseton High School, which he attended.

Hansen served 10 years for those charges. After his release, he moved to Tabor.

Pending the evaluation of his mental competency, Hansen, now 29, could face two counts of sale, transportation or possession of a destructive device and nine counts of unauthorized possession of substances with intent to make a destructive device.

Hansen was deemed a potential danger to the community on his arrest in August and is being held $250,000 cash only bond.

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