Aug. 6 (UPI) — A federal judge in New York handed down a 20-year sentence Monday to a Florida man who mailed more than a dozen pipe bombs to Democrats and news outlets he accused of being critical of President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors sought a life sentence for Cesar Sayoc, but District Judge Jed Rakoff determined that though he hated his intended victims, he didn’t mean to kill them.
“What counts is what he did, and what he intended at the time that he did it,” Rakoff said. “I conclude in the end that Mr. Sayoc, though no firearms expert, was full capable” of building a working bomb.
“He hated his victims … but did not wish them dead, at least not by his own hand.”
Sayoc pleaded guilty in March to 65 felony counts, including using weapons of mass destruction in an attempted domestic terrorist attack. Among his intended targets were former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN.
He sent the pipe bombs to 16 locations in October.
Sayoc told the court he intended for the devices to look like pipe bombs, but not to detonate, despite packing them with fertilizer and powder from fireworks.
Sayoc apologized to the judge for his actions Monday.
“Now that I am a sober man, I know that I was a sick man. I should have listened to my mother, the love of my life,” he said.