Three northern Idaho white supremacists convicted of hatching a foiled plot to bomb a gay nightclub in Seattle last spring have been sentenced to a total of 19 years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Harold Ryan on Friday sentenced John Robert Winslow, 29, to nine years and a $3,500 fine, Stephen E. Nelson, 35, to eight years and 150 hours of community service, and Procter James Baker, 58, to two years, 150 hours of community service and a $7,500 fine.All three have been in custody since their arrests May 12, 1990, and Ryan gave each credit against his sentence for 244 days already served.
Winslow, who prosecutors argued was the ringleader of the conspiracy, and Nelson could have received 25 years each. Baker faced up to 20 years behind bars.
"It's pretty much what I expected at the beginning of the case," said Nelson's attorney, Gar Hackney. "Although in terms of what it could have been . . . "
After a three-week trial in the fall, a jury in Boise found all three guilty on Oct. 18 of conspiracy and manufacturing and possessing pipe bombs. Nelson and Winslow also were convicted of using interstate commerce in a conspiracy and possessing firearms in commission of a violent crime.
But at Friday's sentencing hearing, Ryan rejected Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Howen's contention that their actions constituted "domestic terrorism," justifying additional years on their prison terms.
The judge also declined the government's request that he add time to the sentences based on the argument that the intended victims - homosexuals and minorities - were "particularly vulnerable."
Howen would not comment after the hearing.
Nelson and Winslow were arrested May 12 outside a Seattle motel in a van driven by paid FBI informant Rico Renaldo Valentino, a former professional wrestler paid more than $90,000 to infiltrate northern Idaho and eastern Washington white-supremacist groups.
They were charged with traveling to the Puget Sound area to bomb Neighbours, a disco with a mostly homosexual clientele. They also were tape recorded in Valentino's van talking about bombing the Seattle offices of the Anti-Defamation League, cars owned by Jews and businesses owned by blacks and Chinese.