Alleged Pipe Bomb Maker Calls Himself to Testify

John Tomkins told the court he was calling "defendant John Tomkins" to testify

Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 12:29 PM CDT
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Pipe Bomb Suspect Calls Himself to Testify

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John Tomkins walked to the witness stand and began answering questions he wrote for himself. A legal adviser read the questions from a courtroom podium.

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The former Iowa letter carrier accused of sending dud pipe bombs and taunting letters signed "The Bishop" has called himself to the witness stand at his federal trial in Chicago.

John Tomkins is representing himself at the trial. He told the court as proceedings began Thursday that he was calling "defendant John Tomkins" to testify. He then walked to the witness stand and began answering questions he wrote for himself. A legal adviser read the questions from a courtroom podium.

The testimony began with questions about Tomkins' life in his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa. He discussed his part-time job as a letter carrier and displayed several photographs of stock cars he built.

Tomkins also is expected to deliver his own closing to the jury later Thursday.

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