Four nuclear weapons protesters who broke into a Minuteman 2 missile site to try to disarm the weapon were sentenced Wednesday to up to 18 years in prison.
The four, including two Roman Catholic priests, were convicted Feb. 22 on charges of conspiracy, destruction of government property, obstruction of the national defense and trespassing.
They admitted creating the damage at the missile site near Higginsville, Mo., about 35 miles east of Kansas City, but maintained that their actions were civil disobedience, justified by the destructiveness of nuclear weapons.
‘A Destructive Rampage’
“Make no mistake about it, I view these offenses as extremely serious offenses,” U.S. District Judge D. Brook Bartlett said before passing sentence.
“The method of attack was a destructive rampage,” he said. “The defendants destroyed everything they could and did not care about the consequences of their actions.”
Those sentenced were Helen D. Woodson, 41, and Father Carl Kabat, 51, both of Madison, Wis.; Kabat’s brother, Father Paul Kabat, 52, and Lawrence Cloud-Morgan, 46, both of Bemidji, Minn.
Leaders Get 18 Years
Woodson and Carl Kabat, described by Bartlett as the leaders of the group, were sentenced to consecutive terms of nine years each for destruction of government property and obstruction of the national defense, and six months for trespassing.
Paul Kabat was sentenced to five years each on the obstruction and destruction charges, and five months for trespassing. Cloud-Morgan was sentenced to four years each for destruction and obstruction, and four months for trespassing.
The judge suspended sentencing on the conspiracy charges and ordered each defendant to make restitution of $2,932.81 for damage to the missile site.
“What a waste, what a monumental waste for the four of you,” Bartlett said.