The State : Guilty Plea in Bomb Attempt
A member of the Bible Missionary Fellowship Church pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to “damage and destroy” a San Diego abortion clinic and was granted bail pending sentencing next month in San Diego federal court. Eric Svelmoe, who has been jailed for the last 4 1/2 months, will probably be released today, attorneys said. “My initial reaction is one of shock,” said Patricia O’Neil, an associate director of another abortion clinic that has been heavily picketed by the fundamentalist Baptist church. “I’m concerned he may conspire to plant more bombs.” But Assistant U.S. Atty. Larry A. Burns said Svelmoe had repented of the pipe bombing attempt and is no longer a threat to society. The government allowed Svelmoe to plead guilty to one charge and dropped four other counts in return for his cooperation in the prosecution of six other church members in the attempted bombing of the Family Planning Associates Medical Group last July. Svelmoe, 30, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.