Terror suspect charged for damaging power plant outside Las Vegas found incompetent
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – A man facing terror-related charges connected to a fire at a southern Nevada solar energy facility was found not competent to stand trial, a Las Vegas judge decided.
Mohammed Mesmarian, 34, faces terror-related charges for allegedly ramming a car through a fence at the facility on Jan. 4 and setting the car on fire next to a transformer, Nexstar’s KLAS first reported last month.
The Mega Solar Array facility, located about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, provides energy to MGM properties but is run by a company called Invenergy. After the incident, the MGM properties switched to the statewide electrical grid and experienced no issues at the actual casinos, a spokesperson for MGM Resorts International told the Associated Press.
Mesmarian made an initial appearance in court in early January, but was escorted from the room after becoming disruptive. His attorney ultimately requested he be given a mental health evaluation.
On Wednesday, Judge Cristy Craig found Mesmarian not competent to understand the charges against him.
Mesmarian is accused of scoping out the solar facility for at least a day, according to documents obtained by KLAS. He was visiting the area for New Year’s, police wrote in the documents. The car he drove was registered in Idaho.
Police also found an iPhone with an account connected to Mesmarian in the burned car, as well as two laptops.
Police located Mesmarian at a campground Jan. 5 — a day after the fire — in Boulder Beach at Lake Mead. It was unclear how Mesmarian made it from the energy facility to Boulder City, a 30-mile drive.
No one was hurt in the fire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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