- The former Cleburne man who held authorities
at bay for 14 hours after crashing his truck into the Veterans Affairs
Regional Office in March apologized to the "people of Waco" on
Thursday and pleaded guilty to a federal weapons violation.
- Jason Leigh, 49, who had two weapons
with him when he drove into the building but falsely claimed to have a
bomb, pleaded guilty in Waco's U.S. District Court to possession of a firearm
in a federal facility during the commission of a crime. Leigh, who will
be sentenced in a few months, faces up to five years in prison and a fine
- As he was led to court Thursday morning,
Leigh asked television photographers if their "audio" was on
and then said he wanted to apologize to the people of Waco for what he
- Leigh gained nationwide attention March
8 after he smashed his Jeep Cherokee through a sliding-glass door of the
VA building at 701 Clay Ave., told authorities that he had a bomb and threatened
to blow up the building unless $1 million was placed in a Swiss bank account,
with former President Jimmy Carter administering the fund.
- Leigh, who moved to Denton shortly before
the incident, portrayed himself as a Vietnam War veteran and a former member
of the elite Navy SEALS. Both claims proved to be false. Leigh also has
said that he has seen a UFO over a golf course in Cleburne and has falsely
claimed to have a doctorate in philosophy.
- He said he staged the 14-hour standoff
with police to rally attention for the plight of homeless veterans and
out of frustration over his dealings with government bureaucracy.
- After he peacefully ended his standoff
with police by surrendering, he was sent to a federal medical facility
in Springfield, Mo., where he underwent psychological testing to determine
his competency to stand trial. Authorities found a .45-caliber pistol in
his vehicle and a Winchester .30-.30-caliber rifle inside the building.
Officials found no explosives.
- During his brief court appearance, Leigh
told U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith Jr. that he did not intend to
use the weapons when he drove through the doors and into the building.
The judge explained that his intent was not at issue, likening his position
to the robber who has no intention of harming anyone but who flashes a
gun during a bank heist.