The Fort Hood solider accused of stealing and trying to sell explosives entered a plea of not guilty to the charge against him in federal court.
Spc. Tyler Glen Patrick, 23, of Copperas Cove, waived his right to appear at an arraignment hearing in Waco on Thursday, and pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession and transportation of stolen explosive material, according to court documents filed by his attorney.
According to a criminal complaint, Patrick attempted to sell a one-and-a-quarter-pound block of C4 explosive, which he stole following a field exercise at Fort Hood.
Patrick was arrested by federal authorities Dec. 17 in Copperas Cove.
He could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Despite his initial plea to the charges, Patrick could still change his plea at a later date.
An order signed by United States District Court Judge Walter Smith on Wednesday stated that Patrick has until March 3 to accept a plea agreement if federal prosecutors offer him one.
“(Patrick) will have a chance to enter a plea if there is some kind of agreement,” said Samuel Martinez, Patrick’s court-appointed defense attorney.
Should any kind of plea agreement be reached, Patrick would be re-arraigned on March 6, according to Smith’s order.
If no agreement is offered or reached, Patrick’s trial is slated to begin March 17.
Patrick is currently out of jail on $25,000 bond while the case moves forward.
Contact Chris McGuinness at email@example.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.