Rudolph Gets Life Term for Bombing
He will be sentenced Aug. 22 in Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics bombings, which killed one woman and injured more than 100, and the 1997 bombings at an abortion clinic and a gay bar.
The January 1998 bombing of a Birmingham clinic killed a police officer, Robert Sanderson, and injured Emily Lyons, a nurse. Lyons was blinded in one eye and received 21 surgeries for the injuries to her body and face.
“You want to see a monster, all you have to do is look in the mirror,” Lyons said to Rudolph in a written statement during a sentence hearing.
Rudolph, a 38-year-old abortion opponent, worked out a federal plea agreement in April to avoid the death penalty. By pleading guilty to the clinic bombing, the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombing and blasts at an abortion clinic and gay bar near Atlanta, Rudolph received four life sentences.
Rudolph, who considers himself a devout Christian, said in a written statement that his loathing of abortion and the federal government’s allowing abortions to continue motivated him to bomb the clinics and other locations.
Lyons, who worked at the Birmingham abortion clinic, said at the sentence hearing, “It really doesn’t matter what you say, because I will go back to my home and you will go back to jail. The clinics in town will still be open and abortion will still be legal.”
After the 1998 bombing, Rudolph evaded the FBI by hiding in the mountains of western North Carolina. He was captured by a police officer in 2003 after he was discovered rooting through a dumpster in Murphy, N.C.
As part of the plea agreement, Rudolph told federal prosecutors the location of more than 250 pounds of dynamite buried in the same mountains.
Before his capture, Rudolph had been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since May 1998.