A 36-year-old Japanese man committed to a state mental hospital after reportedly stuffing a homemade bomb in the microwave of his San Mateo hotel room in September is now able to stand trial, according to doctors at the facility.
Takumi Hombu, of Japan, appeared in court Friday to certify his restoration of competency and reinstate two felony charges of possessing an explosive device or substance. He was scheduled for a review conference Aug. 1 followed by an Aug. 8 preliminary hearing.
San Mateo police arrested Hombu Sept. 25, 2012 after responding to calls from the Comfort Inn manager about a customer who had been there several days and refused to leave when asked because of his mess. Officers discovered a homemade explosive device inside the microwave and called in the bomb squad.
An explosives expert concluded the device could have detonated and started a fire if the microwave had been turned on but Hombu, who speaks little English, claimed through an interpreter he could not be arrested because the bomb did not explode, according to prosecutors.
Hombu will now move toward trial unless his defense attorney fights the conclusion by Napa State Hospital medical staff that his client is now able to aid in his own defense.
Hombu remains in custody.