ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A man accused in a series of mailbox bombings in the Midwest is delusional and should not be freed because he's too great a risk to society, a government psychologist testified yesterday.
Dr. Andrew Simcox said Lucas Helder, 23, believes that he vibrates at a certain pitch and can fly out of his body and that physical death is insignificant because it just moves people to a higher plane of consciousness.
Helder earlier was declared incompetent to stand trial on charges that he planted pipe bombs and antigovernment notes in rural mailboxes in Iowa and four other states in May 2002.
Several bombs exploded, injuring four postal workers and two Iowa women.
The explosions shut down mail delivery in several rural Midwestern communities.
A US magistrate heard arguments yesterday at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester on whether Helder is so likely to hurt others that he should be committed indefinitely for mental health treatment.
The magistrate did not immediately make a recommendation.
Simcox, a psychologist at the medical center, testified that Helder talks of a ''worldwide ascension" in the year 2011 that will be akin to heaven on Earth and believed he could bring about such an ascension earlier by making people aware of it.
After his capture, authorities said, Helder said he selected mailboxes in areas across the Midwest to form a pattern of a smiley face.
Simcox said medical health professionals on both sides of the case agree that Helder, of Pine Island, has schizo-affective disorder.