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San Diego

A member of the Bible Missionary Fellowship church who helped store gunpowder for a pipe-bombing attempt against an abortion clinic was ordered Monday to perform 200 hours of volunteer work.

A pregnant Robin Harmon, 22, of Spring Valley, was placed on three years’ probation by U.S. District Judge Earl Gilliam, who could have sentenced her to four years in federal prison and fined her $350,000.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Larry Burns described Harmon’s role in the July 27, 1987, attempted bombing of the Family Planning Associates clinic as “the most minor” of the eight defendants charged.

No time in jail was imposed. In a plea bargain, Burns recommended probation for her.

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Gilliam ordered Harmon not to engage in any political picketing, particularly anti-abortion protests, while she is on probation.

Harmon pleaded guilty March 1 to aiding and abetting the unlawful storage of gunpowder for the bomb and to concealing knowledge of the conspiracy to bomb.

The fundamentalist church, situated in Santee, is noted for its militant anti-abortion and anti-gay positions.

The church’s pastor, Dorman Owens, 55, will be sentenced May 31 for tampering with a witness, Eric Svelmoe, 30, the church member who left the bomb at the clinic.

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Svelmoe will be sentenced in June after he testifies in the trial of Pastor Kenneth Felder, 39, of El Cajon, the only defendant not to plead guilty and go to trial.

Harmon’s husband, Christopher, 24, will be sentenced May 31, along with Joanne Kreipel, 37, of Santee.


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