Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Greg Boertje-Obed have
admitted to cutting fences and making their way across the Y-12
National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012,
embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.
Their sentencing hearing had started on January 28 but was delayed
by a snowstorm. At that hearing, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar in
Knoxville ordered the protesters to pay $52,953 to cover repairs to
the nuclear facility.
Rice and the others also admitted spray painting peace slogans and
hammering on exterior walls of the facility. When a guard confronted
them, they offered him food and began singing.
The three were convicted by a federal jury last May of damaging
national defense premises under the sabotage act, which carries a
prison sentence of up to 20 years, and of causing more than $1,000
of damage to U.S. government property.
Federal sentencing guidelines call for Rice, 84, to receive up to a
little more than seven years in prison; Walli, 65, more than nine
years; and Boertje-Obed, 58, more than eight years. The defendants
have been in custody since their convictions.
Prosecutors have asked that the defendants receive sentences in line
with federal guidelines. Defense attorneys have asked for lesser
sentences, arguing that the three were "completely nonviolent" when
they were arrested.
[to top of second column]
The three activists have received more than 2,000 cards and letters
of support from around the world.
Prosecutors contended the break-in at Y-12, the primary U.S. site
for processing and storage of enriched uranium, disrupted
operations, endangered U.S. national security, and caused physical
(Reporting by Melodi Erdogan and Mary Wisniewski;
editing by Toni
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