UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (UPI) -- Arthur H. Bremer, his wry grin dissipated when found guilty of trying to assassinate Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace, told the court Friday he wished "society had protected me from myself."
Bremer, 21, stood and listened as the word "guilty" was said 108 times in the Prince Georges County Court. His attorney had demanded that the six men and six women of the jury be polled individually on each of the nine counts against Bremer.
He was sentenced to 63 years in prison and was taken to the Maryland state penitentiary.
The grin that Bremer sported constantly during the trial disappeared as the verdict was announced after the jury had deliberated one hour and 35 minutes. The grin reappeared, however, as the jury was polled.
Given the opportunity to speak by Judge Ralph W. Powers, Bremer said he had listened as the prosecutor "said that society needs protection from someone like me. Looking back on my life, I would have liked it if society had protected me from myself."
"I suppose I have a world of words to say," he responded when asked if he had anything more to say. "I think what I would have to say would run longer than the transcript of this trial so I won't say anything at this time."
Bremer will be eligible for parole after he has served one quarter of his sentence, or 15 years and nine months. It seemed likely that his attorney would appeal the court's verdict although he declined comment after the trial on any aspect of the case because of still pending federal charges.
The defendant faces yet another trial on federal charges of violating the civil rights of a presidential candidate, assaulting a federal official and violation of firearms laws. If found guilty Bremer could face another 40 years in prison. Bremer's father, William, a Milwaukee truck driver, said he was overwhelmed by both bitterness and sadness.
"Maryland justice really rolls," he said. "There could only be one decision. The boy was sick. Probably if he were black or some Communist agitator he'd be free."