Parents Of Accused Attempted OKC Bomber Release Statement

Wednesday, August 16th 2017, 6:53 pm

Two days after the FBI gave the press details into what they say was a foiled plot to bomb a downtown Oklahoma City bank, the suspect's family is giving their side of the story. 

According to the FBI, Jerry Drake Varnell is an anti-government extremist who wanted to start a new revolution. They say Varnell got what he thought was bomb making materials from a paid FBI informant, drove to the BancFirst headquarters and planned to detonate the bomb

Agents say Varnell even had a bunker on the property he shared with his parents in Sayre that he would use when the government collapsed. He was picked up after an 8-month investigation.

Now Varnell's parents have released a statement to several media outlets saying their son suffers with schizophrenia, and that "…what truly has us flabbergasted is the fact that the FBI knew he was schizophrenic. The State of Oklahoma found him mentally incompetent and we, his parents have legal guardianship over him by the Court." 

Cathy Costello became a mental health advocate after her son, who she says also suffers with schizophrenia, allegedly killed her husband.

8/15/17 Related Story: Attempted Bombing Suspect's Friend: He Needs Help, Not Jail Time

"They've done everything they can,” Costello says of the statement released by Varnell’s family. “They've worked to get guardianship which is a very hard long process, a difficult process. Only parents that love their child would go through the difficulties of trying to get guardianship."

As for the bunker, Varnell's parents sent pictures to the Daily, saying it's just a portable storage unit.

Varnell faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. 

His parents say, "They (The FBI) should not have aided and abetted a paranoid schizophrenic to commit this act."

News 9 did reach out to the FBI and the US Attorney's office. Neither would comment.