Courts and Crime
Thursday, June 13, 2013
UPDATE 5:20 P.M.: UPDATE: Federal jury convicts fifth would-be Ohio bridge bomber
Joshua Stafford -- defending himself -- says he didn't know what the other planned
Story by TIM RUDELL
|Suspect Joshua Stafford is one of five people accused of plotting to blow up a bridge.|
|Courtesy of FBI|
|Download (WKSU Only)|In The Region:UPDATE: 5:20 P.M., JUNE 13
A federal jury in Akron spent little more than an hour deliberating this afternoon before convicting the fifth man accused of plotting to blow up a bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in April of 2012.
Twenty-four-year-old Joshua Stafford was convicted on all three charges he faced, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. He claimed he didn’t know what his four co-defendants had planned when they planted what they thought was plastic explosive at the base of the bridge. The explosive turned out to be fake, supplied by an FBI informant.
The others all pleaded guilty to various charges and were sentenced to six to eleven years in prison.
The case against the last of five men suspected to plotting to blow up a bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley National Park went to federal jury in Akron this afternoon.
An FBI affidavit says 24-year-old Joshua Stafford joined the plot to blow up the Route 82 bridge in April of 2012 just two days before the men bought what they thought were real explosives from an FBI informant. And Stafford, who represented himself in the four-day trial, insisted he didn’t know what his co-defendants planned. But prosecutors say tapes clearly make their case.
Stafford was originally found mentally incompetent to stand trial. His co-defendants all pleaded guilty, though their lawyers had maintained the informant engineered the plot.
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