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Courts and Crime

Despite guilty pleas, defendants ask for reduced sentences
The judge is required to sentence each to at least five years

Tim Rudell
Seiberling Federal Building and Court House in downtown Akron
Courtesy of tpr
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In The Region:

Three of four men who pleaded guilty to putting a block of what they thought was military explosive at the base of the Route-82 bridge in Brecksville last spring are headed to jail.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on their sentencings in Akron Federal Court. 

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“Throw the book at ‘em, said prosecutors”--federal Judge David Dowd tossed less than half the chapters.  Douglas Wright, 27, of Indianapolis, identified by the FBI as the leader of the failed April 30th plot, got 11-and-a-half years instead of the recommended 30.   20-year-old Brandon Braxton of Lakewood got a little less than 10 years instead of 25; and 20-year old Connorr Stevens of Berea will serve 8 instead of19 as prosecutors wanted. 

The Judge cited “proportionality”—fitting sentence to crime—in his decisions.  And, there were concerns throughout the case that the FBI informant had been active in helping hatch the plan. 

Brandon Braxton’s father:  "hHe had seven months to pound away at them to get them to do this, and they were just kids."

 35-year-old Anthony Hanye of Cleveland also pleaded guilty. He’ll be sentenced in Judge Dowd’s regular Wednesday schedule.  And, 23 year old Joshua Stafford of Cleveland is undergoing psychiatric examinations. 

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