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Courts and Crime

Defendant apologizes for attempted bombing
Plea bargain results in lighter sentence 

Tim Rudell
In The Region:

A fourth would-be bridge bomber was sentenced to prison today by Federal Judge David Dowd in Akron.  36-year-old Anthony Hayne of Cleveland was one of five men accused of trying to detonate explosives at the base of the Route 82 Bridge over the Cuyahoga National Park gorge. 

He and three of the others entered guilty pleas--the fifth man is undergoing psychiatric evaluation.  Hayne, the only defendant to strike a plea bargain, got six years.  The other three who pleaded guilty were sentenced earlier to terms ranging from eight to eleven and a half years.  Before he was sentenced Hayne told the judge he was sorry for being a party to the bombing attempt and apologized to both the court and the public.

He, 26-year-old Douglas Wright of Indianapolis, and 20-year-old Connor Stevens and 20-year-old Brandon Braxton, both of suburban Cleveland were arrested in an FBI sting operation as they tried to set off what the men believed was a bomb.  The device was actually a fake, provided to them by an FBI informant who had befriended them.    Prosecutors said the men thought of themselves as anarchists and wanted to topple the busy commuter bridge to demonstrate their anger with corporations and government.  Defense attorneys characterized them as troubled but non-violent individuals who were entrapped: talked into the bridge plot by the informant, a convicted felon the FBI used to infiltrated their group



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