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Pastor Says ‘Sorry’ For Plot To Bomb Clinic, Sentenced

June 21, 1988

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A federal judge has sentenced an outspoken fundamentalist minister to 21 months in prison for the attempted bombing of a family planning clinic by anti-abortion protesters.

″I am genuinely sorry for what I’ve done,″ the Rev. Dorman Owens told the judge at Monday’s hearing. ″I’ve tried to right every wrong. Now, for my sake and for the sake of my people, I’m asking for mercy and leniency.″

U.S. District Judge Earl B. Gilliam also sentenced Owens to five years probation, during which time he is forbidden from participating in anti- abortion protests or preaching on the subject.

Owens, 54, the fundamentalist pastor of the Santee-based Bible Missionary Fellowship, pleaded guilty to charges of witness tampering and willfully concealing knowledge of the bombing attempt from authorities.

A follower of Owens, Jo Anne Kreipal, 37, was sentenced to 15 months in prison at the same hearing for her role in the July 27, 1987, attempted bombing at the Alvarado Hospital Medical Center clinic.

Authorities uncovered the plot after another church member was seen planting the pipe bomb, which failed to go off. The man later cooperated with investigators, and is scheduled to be sentenced July 25.

The pastor and his followers frequently picketed clinics in the area in protest of abortion services.

The judge allowed both Owens and Kreipel to remain free until they surrender themselves on July 11.

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