LOS ANGELES — A man who believes he is the messenger of God took a maid hostage at an airport hotel and made terrorist threats to spread his message that the end of the world was near, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
"He has a very strong spiritual belief," Deputy Dist. Atty. Sally Lipscomb said in her opening statement in the trial of Rollen Frederick Stewart.
Stewart, 48, dubbed the "Rainbow Man" for wearing a colorful wig and hoisting religious placards at televised sports events, faces life in prison if he is convicted on 10 felony counts.
The majority of those charges stem from a Sept. 22 standoff in which he barricaded himself in a room of the Hyatt hotel near Los Angeles International Airport for nine hours, Lipscomb said.
Stewart had been a fugitive since May, 1991, when a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with four "stink bomb" attacks in Orange County. The Orange County Register, the Crystal Cathedral, a Christian bookstore and the Trinity Broadcasting Network were the targets.