- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
3 men get prison in failed Ohio bridge bomb plot
Question of the Day
AKRON, Ohio — Three men were sentenced Tuesday to years in prison after admitting to taking part in an unsuccessful plot to bomb a highway bridge in Ohio with what turned out to be a dud device provided by a government informant.
The father of one of the defendants, 20-year-old Connor Stevens, complained to the judge that his son had been entrapped.
“My son is guilty,” James Stevens said, “and so is the government.”
Prosecutors had described the suspects as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government.
Wright, an Indianapolis man authorities called the ringleader, received the toughest sentence, 11½ years. He apologized to his family and the community, saying he was an addict and needed help for substance abuse, not just prison.
U.S. District Judge David Dowd had ruled last week that the men should be sentenced as terrorists, making them subject to harsher prison terms. After leaving prison, all three will be on supervised release for the rest of their lives.
A fourth defendant is being sentenced Wednesday, and a fifth is undergoing a psychiatric exam.
Stevens‘ mother, Gail, broke into tears and stopped reading a prepared statement. She portrayed her son as a gentle soul who shooed flies out of the house instead of killing them.
Brandon Baxter’s father, Andy Baxter, challenged the government’s case and mentioned his own battle with alcohol abuse. He told the judge his son had “a heart of gold, and please make this as light as possible.”
Stevens, Baxter and Wright pleaded guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, knowingly attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to damage property with explosives. There was no plea deal that would have reduced their sentences.
Last week, Dowd backed a government request to consider stricter sentences based on a “terrorist enhancement” for the trio. The ruling that the three were trying to intimidate the government expanded possible sentences from five or six years to 15 to 30 years or more.
The men were arrested by the FBI and had targeted a bridge over Cuyahoga Valley National Park between Cleveland and Akron. The FBI has said that the public was never in danger and that the device was a dud provided by an informant.
The defense called the case entrapment, with the informant guiding the way, and said the plot was more an act of vandalism than anti-government terrorism. They asked for sentences in the range of five years.
The government said the plot “was meant to convey a message to the civilian population, the corporate world, the financial system, and all levels of government.”
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Cutler wins endorsement from gun control group
- Eugenie Bouchard pulls out of D.C.'s Citi Open
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq