AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A fourth man facing sentencing Wednesday in a failed bridge bombing plot asked to withdraw his guilty plea if he doesn't get more lenient treatment than his co-defendants.
The attorney for Anthony Hayne, 35, of Cleveland, filed the request late Tuesday night with U.S. District Judge David Dowd in Akron.
The plea change request was conditional on whether Hayne gets a more lenient sentence than his co-defendants.
His attorney said Hayne's plea deal in return for cooperation could still mean a longer sentence than the eight- to 11-year terms handed down Tuesday to three co-defendants.
They pleaded guilty after Hayne but without plea deals promising cooperation.
The FBI said no one was ever in danger. The device was a dud provided by an FBI informant
Hayne's attorney, Michael O'Shea, said the plea deal called for his client to get a sentence one-half as long as his co-defendants.
Giving Hayne a longer sentence than promised would violate the spirit of the plea deal, O'Shea said. He argued in the motion that the three co-defendants pleaded guilty six weeks after Hayne in large measure because of his offer to testify against them.
The shortest of the three sentences handed down Tuesday by the judge was eight years and one month for Connor Stevens, 21, of Berea, described in court documents as less involved that the other two.
By that measure, O'Shea said Hayne should get half that sentence, or about four years in prison.
Sentencing calculations outlined last week showed Stevens was facing 15 to 19 years. The judge gave him to less after hearing from Stevens and his family members and reviewing the presentence report on Stevens' background and involvement in the plot.
The three sentenced Tuesday, including the alleged ring leader, plan to appeal their sentences. Their attorneys had argued for sentences in the five-year range.
A fifth co-defendant is undergoing a psychiatric exam at a federal prison outside Boston.
The suspects are described by the government as self-proclaimed anarchists who acted out of anger against corporate America and the government. The defense attorney has called the investigation a case of entrapment, with the informant guiding the way.