Mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc’s trial scheduled for July

The trial for a Florida man accused of sending mail bombs to CNN offices and prominent Democrats last month has been scheduled for July 15, a federal judge in New York said Thursday.

Cesar Sayoc’s trial date was set by US District Judge Jed S. Rakoff during a court hearing in Manhattan.

Sayoc, 56, appeared at Thursday’s hearing wearing a navy jail uniform. His attorney, Sarah Baumgartel, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Sayoc was arrested October 26 in Florida and is accused of sending at least 16 packages with suspected explosives to several targets, including CNN, former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. None of the devices detonated, and no one was injured.

Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Sayoc on 30 counts. The charges include the use of a weapon of mass destruction; interstate transportation and receipt of explosives; threatening interstate communications; illegal mailing of explosives; use of explosives to commit a felony; and use of a destructive device during and in furtherance of a crime of violence.

The trial may last roughly three weeks, prosecutors said.

The prosecution and the defense have until January 31 to complete discovery, Rakoff said. The next court date will be a status conference February 7.