Prescott Sigmund, charged in the July 12 pipe bomb explosion that critically injured his half brother, told police that "I tried to kill my father," according to court papers filed by prosecutors yesterday.
Prosecutors said the remarks were made Nov. 9, after Sigmund, a fugitive, surrendered to police in Missoula, Mont. The statements were detailed in a document filed in U.S. District Court in Washington in which the U.S. attorney's office argued that Sigmund should remain jailed without bond. He faces a detention hearing today.
In the court papers, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne M. Hauch cited the seriousness of the crime and the possibility that Sigmund might flee.
"This defendant could easily seek to abscond from the area or United States," she wrote. "Moreover, the defendant has shown that he has skills that would successfully aid him in his flight."
Defense attorney David Bos could not be located for comment last night.
Sigmund, 35, is charged with interstate transportation of an explosive device with intent to injure an individual. His half brother, Wright Sigmund, 21, was critically injured when he got into their father's Chevrolet Blazer in a parking garage on Wisconsin Avenue NW. Wright Sigmund was running an errand for his father, Donald Sigmund, 65, an insurance executive whom authorities have identified as the intended target.
Prescott Sigmund has pleaded not guilty to the federal charge, and prosecutors are scheduled to outline their case at the hearing today.
Sigmund disappeared three days after the explosion and made his way to Missoula, where he rented a room in a house near the University of Montana and got a desk clerk job at a Comfort Inn.
He changed his name to Paul Nott and altered his Maryland driver's license and birth certificate to reflect his new name, Hauch wrote. He also told people that his wife and children had died in a car crash with a drunk driver, the court papers said.
But on Nov. 9, within a week after his wife filed for divorce, the mystery of Sigmund's whereabouts ended. He saw his case featured on the Fox television show "America's Most Wanted" and drove a 1979 Mercury Grand Marquis to the police station in Missoula.
Once there, he told Sgt. Douglas Hartzell that he was wanted for attempted murder and stated, "I tried to kill my father," Hauch wrote. Sigmund told Hartzell that he had used an explosive device, the prosecutor said.
According to the court papers, Sigmund gave this response when asked by police if he had anything dangerous in the car he had driven to the station that night: "No, there is nothing like that. This was a one-time thing."
Authorities searched the car and discovered nothing, but they found two pairs of pliers and a roll of duct tape in his Montana residence, the prosecutor's court document said.
"These items have been delivered to the [federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] laboratory and have been submitted for tests to determine if they are related to the bomb, which included cut wires and duct tape," the document said.
Authorities have suggested that Sigmund was having money problems and hoped to benefit financially from his father's death.
In the court papers, Hauch said that Wright Sigmund "survived only through his strength, his youthful vigor and medical care of the highest quality. While alive, the victim suffered massive damage to his internal organs in the lower abdominal area. He has lost the ability to perform normal bodily functions. He has severe scarring."