Utah teen accused in backpack bomb was bullied, expert says

Graffiti at on a wall at Hurricane High School in southern Utah. (Photo: KUTV)

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A psychologist says a Utah teenager accused of trying to blow up a homemade backpack bomb after looking at Islamic State propaganda online has a long history of being bullied.

The Spectrum newspaper in St. George reports that clinical psychologist Tim Kockler testified in the boy's defense Wednesday. He says the teen may have wanted to cause the same kind of fear at school that he experienced.

The 16-year-old was charged with attempted murder and other counts after authorities found the smoking but inert backpack in March. Prosecutors want to try him as an adult, but the defense disagrees.

The teen is also accused of cutting up an American flag and spray-painting words including "ISIS" on a wall at a different high school.

The Associated Press is not naming the defendant because he's a minor. The hearing continues Monday.


Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com

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