Harpham Sentencing Delayed - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Harpham Sentencing Delayed

SPOKANE, Wash. - The man who admitted leaving a bomb on the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March parade in downtown Spokane in January to target minorities will wait three more weeks until he is sentenced. Wednesday, a federal judge continued Kevin Harpham's sentencing date until December 20.

This comes one day after Harpham's lead attorney, Roger Peven, requested a continuance to research definitions for a bomb or "other similar device."

A pipe bomb, which Harpham placed inside of a backpack at the intersection of Main and Washington along the crowded parade route, was loaded with 128 lead fishing weights coated with rat poison and, prosecutors said, could have caused mass casualties. The backpack bomb was discovered by parade workers and disabled before it could explode.

Harpham, 37, reached a deal with federal prosecutors just five days before his trial was set to start. In exchange for pleading guilty to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to cause bodily injury with an explosive device with a racist motive, two other counts were dismissed.

Wednesday, in U.S. District Court , Peven said he wanted additional time to look at the latter count, the statute about a person who uses or attempts to use an explosive device. An explosive device is defined as an explosive bomb or "similar device" and Peven wants to ensure the bomb Harpham made matches the definition of a bomb or "similar device."

Government prosecutors contend Harpham's bomb matches the description as outlined in a presentencing report.

U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush granted the continuance because he said "Justice is fairness" for the defense in this case. Quackenbush also credited Harpham, the defense team, and the Government for quickly resolving the case.

Prosecutors recommended a sentencing range of 27 to 32 years in prison.

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