Outspoken Anti-Abortion Pastor Held Without Bond
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A fundamentalist pastor was held without bond after he and six members of his fundamentalist church were arrested on charges of conspiring to bomb a family planning clinic that offered abortions.
The Rev. Dorman Owens, 54, was arrested Thursday at his home after a federal grand jury handed up an indictment charging him with plotting the July 27 attemped bombing of the Alvarado Medical Center clinic, authorities said.
Among those named in the six-count indictment was the Rev. Kenneth Neal Felder, 39, the associate pastor of the Bible Missionary Fellowship.
Owens also was named in a separate indictment accusing him of tampering with a witness, a church member arrested last July and charged with planting the pipe bomb.
All seven pleaded innocent to the charges Thursday afternoon at an arraignment hearing before U.S. Magistrate Barry Ted Moskowitz.
Although church members have demonstrated against abortions and homosexuality, Owens has said that he doesn’t advocate violence or destruction of property.
According to the indictment, the defendants met several times in May and July to plan the bombing. At least one meeting occurred at Owens’ church, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry R. Burns.
Owens was ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing Tuesday. Moskowitz set bail for five others at $100,000 each and $50,000 for a sixth.
The indictment carries charges of conspiracy to bomb and to commit arson, unlawful possession of a destructive device, manufacturing a destructive device, interstate transportation of explosives, and attempted bombing and arson of a property.
The maximum penalty on these counts is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The witness tampering charge against Owens carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.