Spokane MLK Day Bomber To Face Sentencing

Nov 29, 2011
Originally published on November 29, 2011 3:55 pm

The man who planted a pipe bomb along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade faces sentencing before a federal judge Wednesday. Kevin Harpham could spend between 27 and 32 years in prison under a plea deal reached with prosecutors.

Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Harpham pleaded guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and a federal hate crime charge. The FBI arrested him in March in what they deemed a case of domestic terrorism.

On Martin Luther King Day this year, city workers found a backpack containing a homemade bomb. It was filled with rat poison and fishing weights. The FBI believes it would have exploded at the touch of trigger fashioned from a remote-controlled car alarm.

The case has weighed heavily on the inland Northwest, which has struggled to shed a history of white supremacists. Newly unsealed court documents include Harpham's membership card with the racist National Alliance, how-to books on domestic terrorism, and a copy of the Turner Diaries -– which famously inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVey.

Harpham's defense has encouraged the judge to consider other factors in his sentencing decision -– such as, the bomb never went off, Harpham does not have a prior criminal record, and they say similar cases of failed attacks have resulted in lesser punishment.

On the Web:

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