Eric Rudolph gets double life sentence

July 18, 2005 at 4:12 PM
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 18 (UPI) -- Eric Rudolph, still justifying his crimes, was sentenced to two life terms Monday for a deadly 1998 bombing at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala.

The blast killed a police officer guarding the New Woman All Woman Clinic and maimed a nurse. The judge also ordered more than $1 million in restitution to his victims.

"No matter how he tries to justify his actions and glorify himself, he is a terrorist," Felicia Sanderson, the officer's widow, said after the sentencing, CNN reported. "He is a murderer."

Rudolph defended his actions before U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith, saying that officer Robert Sanderson was a victim of abortion.

The 38-year-old Rudolph faces another sentencing in federal court in Georgia for the lethal bombing in an Atlanta park during the 1996 Olympics and bombs at another abortion clinic and a gay nightclub. In those two bombings, he left second bombs set to detonate to injure or kill emergency workers responding to the first explosion.

Prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain that spared Rudolph the death penalty in return for information on five caches of explosives. Rudolph was a fugitive for five years before being captured in 2003.

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