Judge says news of Boston bombings didn't affect sentencing

May 22, 2013 at 2:53 PM
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NEWARK, N.J., May 22 (UPI) -- A New Jersey federal judge has ruled that news of the Boston Marathon bombings did not affect sentences handed down later that day for two would-be terrorists.

U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise made the ruling in rejecting a motion by the men's defense attorneys for "reconsideration" of their clients' sentences, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported Wednesday.

The news also did not seem to affect arguments by federal prosecutor Andrew Kogan, the judge added.

Debevoise dismissed arguments by defense attorneys that the "purpose and meaning" of Kogan's argument "abruptly shifted" after a federal agent handed him a note about the bombings.

Those arguments were made earlier in the day by Kogan's co-prosecutor, the judge said.

Debevoise added while he heard of the bombings shortly before returning to the courtroom, the news had "no effect" on the sentences he handed down.

The judge said court documents on which he relied in pronouncing the sentence on Mohamed Hamoud Alessa and Carlos Eduardo Almonte had been prepared before the April 15 bombing.

The defendants had pleaded guilty to conspiring within the United States to murder individuals outside the country by attempting to join a Somali terror organization.

Alessa was sentenced to 22 years in prison, while Almonte received a 20-year sentence.

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