May 23, 2012 / 2:00 AM / 7 years ago

White supremacist gets 40 years for Arizona package bomb

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge sentenced a 61-year-old white supremacist to 40 years in jail on Tuesday for a racially motivated package bomb attack that injured a black city administrator in Arizona in 2004.

Dennis Mahon was found guilty in February of three explosives- and conspiracy-related charges stemming from the attack on Don Logan, then the head of the diversity office for the city of Scottsdale.

Mahon, who appeared for sentencing in shackles and an orange jumpsuit, was arrested along with his identical twin brother Daniel in 2009 at their home in Davis Junction, Illinois, following a five-year investigation.

Daniel Mahon was acquitted of a single charge of conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives, following a six-week trial in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

Handing down the sentence on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell called the bomb attack “an act of domestic terrorism” that aimed to promote an agenda of hate and racism.

Logan, head of Scottsdale’s Office of Diversity and Dialogue, suffered injuries to his hand when he opened the package bomb at his office. Another worker, Renita Linyard, was also injured in the blast.

“Everyone wants to lock me up forever, but I did not do this bombing,” Mahon said, protesting his innocence before sentencing. “What happened to Miss Linyard and Mr. Logan is terrible, but I can’t apologize for a crime I didn’t commit.”

Mahon faced a maximum sentence of 100 years in jail, and Logan urged the judge to impose the maximum.

“When I leave, I cannot leave what happened to me at these doors. I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life,” he told the court. “Dennis Mahon’s actions warrant the maximum sentence.”

But speaking after the hearing, Logan told Reuters he was satisfied. “Realistically, he will never get out again. I am happy with the sentencing.”

During the trial, authorities maintained that the Mahons had acted on behalf of the White Aryan Resistance, a group they said promoted racial discord against people of color.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Dennis Mahon had specific knowledge of how the bomb, which was hidden beneath bubble wrap in a package addressed to Logan, was constructed.

But defense attorneys argued that someone else must have been responsible, and criticized the government for using a confidential informant to make its case, calling the woman “a trailer park Mata Hari” - a reference to a Dutch exotic dancer shot for espionage in 1917.

Mahon was convicted on counts of conspiracy to damage buildings and property by means of explosives; malicious damage of a building by means of explosives, and distribution of information related to explosives.

Campbell sentenced him to 40 years in prison for the first two counts, and 33 months on the final count. He ordered all the terms were to run concurrently. Mahon’s attorney, Deborah Williams, told Reuters she would appeal the sentence.

Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Philip Barbara

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