Federal Courthouse Bomber Sentenced to Prison

Love masterminded the federal bombing plot in order to claim the reward money

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    The explosion was captured on surveillance video in May 2008.

    The man who masterminded the bombing of San Diego's downtown federal courthouse in 2008, and tried to cover up crime, was sentenced to 55 years in prison Friday.

    Three pipe bombs detonated with enough force in May 2008 that the building's glass front doors were shattered and some of the 100 or so roofing nails packed inside shot six stories into the air.

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    Donny Love was convicted of 10 charges in the bombing of a San Diego federal courthouse on May 4, 2008. Among the charges are conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. (Published Tuesday, June 7, 2011)

    In June 2011, a jury convicted Love on 10 charges including the use of weapons of mass destruction.

    "It is only by blind luck that no one, including Love’s coconspirator, Rachelle Carlock, was killed or injured by Love’s actions," United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said in a written news release.

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    The alleged mastermind in the May 2008 bombing is indicted but investigators still have no motive. (Published Friday, June 18, 2010)

    Love worked for the city's parks and water departments for nearly a decade but was fired in 2008 for missing too many workdays.

    He masterminded the federal bombing plot in order to claim the reward money.

    He instructed Carlock and Ella Louise Sanders to purchase explosive powder and to steal bomb-making materials. Prosecutors say Love and others constructed pipe bombs at his residence in Menifee in Riverside County.

    According to testimony presented at trial, Carlock and Eric Reginald Robinson drove from Love's residence to San Diego with a backpack containing three pipe bombs.

    Carlock then detonated the bombs. The explosion was captured on surveillance video.

    After the bombing, Love met with FBI agents and offered to provide information in return for $75,000 in reward money, and help in dismissing two state court convictions for which he was facing six years in prison, prosecutors said.

    Carlock, who placed the backpack outside the courthouse and detonated it, has been sentenced to 11 years.