Alleged 'Bishop' bomber: Devices not destructive

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By MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Iowa letter carrier accused of sending dud pipe bombs and taunting letters says the devices he sent weren't destructive.

John Tomkins made the comments Thursday during closing arguments, after he called himself to the witness stand earlier in the day.

Tomkins began his closing by excusing himself and taking off his tie and laying it on the table, saying he's a machinist.

A prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments that they should discount Tomkins' argument that the devices were specifically built not to detonate.

Prosecutors say Tomkins sent letters threatening to kill people unless they took steps to raise stock prices of corporations he invested in. Some were signed "The Bishop."

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