US man jailed over Martin Luther King Day bomb plot

Kevin William Harpham pleaded guilty in September in a deal to avoid life behind bars.

Updated: Dec 21, 2011, 17:32 PM IST

Los Angeles: A US man was jailed for 32
years for placing a homemade bomb on the planned route of a
Martin Luther King Jr Day march in Washington State in January
this year.

Kevin William Harpham, who had been charged with
attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possession
of an unregistered explosive device, pleaded guilty in
September in a deal to avoid life behind bars.

At a sentencing hearing Monday his lawyer sought to
withdraw the guilty plea, but the judge rejected that
yesterday and sentenced him to the maximum allowed under the
September deal of between 27 and 32 years in prison.

"It is very important that Harpham receive the
significant sentence that he did today to send the message to
our community that hate and violence will not be tolerated,"
said Michael Ormsby, the US attorney for the eastern district
of Washington.

"Acts of hate like this one have no place in our country
in the year 2011, but ... unfortunately, we continue to see
attempted violence in our communities due to racial animus,"
added assistant attorney general Thomas Perez.

Harpham will serve the rest of his life under court
supervision after being released from prison, the district
attorney`s office.
Harpham, a resident of rural Colville in the northwestern
US state, planned to cause an explosion by planting the device
on the route of a January 17 march in Spokane, Washington.

A cleanup crew found the bomb in a backpack shortly
before the parade honouring the US civil rights hero was due
to get underway. Police quickly re-routed the parade.