Ex-air traffic controller sentenced to 10 years for bombs
Associated Press Writer
DENVER ” A former air traffic controller accused of planting homemade bombs outside the homes of former co-workers and a government official was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to damaging a building.
Robert Burke was also ordered to pay $11,865 in restitution for damage caused by another bomb to a building in Murfreesburo, Tenn., that belonged to his former employer, a contractor that supplies traffic controllers to airports.
Burke had been charged with five counts, including possession of explosives and a dangerous weapon, for allegedly leaving bombs at five homes in the western Colorado city of Grand Junction. Three bombs exploded, but no one was hurt and only minor damage was reported. Two bombs were defused.
In October, he pleaded guilty to a single count of malicious damage to a building used in interstate commerce after accepting a deal from prosecutors. He faced up to 20 years in prison but prosecutors recommended 10 years.
On Friday, he apologized and told U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn he accepts responsibility.
“What I did wasn’t right in any way, shape or form,” Burke said. “But occasionally ” and you read about it in the newspaper every day ” people hit their limit, come across something they don’t know how to handle.”
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