Conviction in the Bizarre Case of Arkansas’ Dr. Randeep Mann

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AP Photo/Pulaski County Sheriff's Office

It’s a TV movie waiting to happen.

On Monday, a federal jury in Arkansas convicted Dr. Randeep Mann of conspiring to detonate a car bomb that maimed the state medical board chairman, who lost his left eye and was severely burned in the Feb. 2009 attack. The detonation came after Mann, known around his tiny town of Russellville (pop. 27,000) for driving a yellow Lamborghini, had been disciplined for the fatal overdoses of several of his patients.

Mann was not linked to the attack directly, but the circumstantial evidence was almost absurdly overwhelming. The bomb was a hand grenade duct-taped to a spare tire, and though the spare tire did not match any of Mann’s cars, it did match the car of a business associate he visited in Memphis before the attack. When federal agents searched his home, they also found a tire in his stand-up shower. His wife said he had innocently been cleaning one of the prized vehicles from his collection. (Because we all know the first place you go to wash a car you really love is the bathroom.)

And that’s just Act I. Mann is a licensed firearms dealer who has a million-dollar collection, including Goldfinger-worthy grenade launchers that he uses to “practice” firing grenades into the lake behind his home, the same lake beside which sits Arkansas Nuclear One. But around the time of the bombing, city workers “stumbled” upon a cache of unregistered grenades on Mann’s property. (He was also convicted for illegally possessing 98 of those and a machine gun.) And if all that wasn’t enough, he had happened to mention to a long-time friend that he wished he could kill the medical board members. A jail inmate said Mann had offered him $50,000 to do the job, and agents found—wouldn’t you know it—$50,000 cash in Mann’s home. Someone get Lifetime on the phone.

Mann’s defense attorney says he plans to appeal the verdict.

Katy Steinmetz