Thursday, April 21, 2011

Accused Spokane Bomber Kevin Harpham Now Indicted On Two Additional Hate Crimes-Related Charges

Note: All posts on the Kevin Harpham case can be displayed HERE, with the most recent post showing up first.

On Thursday April 21st, 2011, a Federal grand jury in Spokane, Washington returned a new indictment against accused Spokane bomber Kevin Harpham, which increases the total charges to four, and includes two hate crime charges. Harpham, who has been in the Spokane County Jail since his arrest on March 9th, already pleaded not guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and unauthorized possession of an unregistered explosive device in relation to the backpack bomb found in downtown Spokane on January 18th. Story also picked up by CNN and Reuters.

Read the three-page indictment HERE. The list of charges is posted below:

-- Count 1: Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction
-- Count 2: Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device
-- Count 3: Violation of Hate Crimes Act
-- Count 4: Use of a Firearm in Relation to a Crime of Violence (relates to the furtherance of a hate crime under the Hate Crime Act)

The grand jury decided that Harpham's motive for planting the device at the Martin Luther King Unity March was because of perceived race, color, or national origin, despite the fact that had the device exploded, the shrapnel would not have discriminated between different races, colors, or national origins. Thus the hate crime charge is intended to intimidate Harpham into taking a plea deal and save Uncle Sam the cost and effort of a trial.

The indictment has only been signed by three officials. The fourth official, Thomas Perez, who is the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in Washington DC, has to review it, and is likely to sign it. Harpham could be arraigned on the new indictment in U.S. District Court as early as Friday, and faces up to life in prison if convicted on all counts.

Update April 25th: Kevin Harpham pleaded not guilty to all four of the charges against him. He will remain locked up without bail in the Spokane County Jail. He faces a minimum of 30 years in prison with no time off for good behavior, which means that if convicted, he could be at least 66 years old before he could be released from prison. He faces a maximum of life. KXLY news video embedded below:

Kevin Harpham's father Cecil Harpham has said that Kevin was with him at the time the backpack bomb was planted, and believes his son was set up by someone wanting to pocket the $20,000 reward posted by the FBI (did the Feds find another Larry Fairfax?). Adding to the suspicion is the fact that the Feds have successfully parried media requests to unseal court records related to the arrest of Kevin Harpham. The records are believed to contain information as to how the Feds were led to Harpham.

Some media outlets continue to play up the National Alliance connection, even though National Alliance Chairman Erich Gliebe told the Spokesman-Review on March 10th that Kevin Harpham is not a member of the organization, and that the National Alliance has a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal activity.

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