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Defendant In Sedition Case Given Seven Years

January 13, 1988

BOSTON (AP) _ A man who pleaded guilty to conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government as a member of a radical group blamed for nearly 20 bombings has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $20,000.

Christopher E. King, 37, was sentenced Tuesday, five weeks after he pleaded guilty to one count of seditious conspiracy. In exchange for the plea, which came three months into King’s trial, the government dropped two additional charges of racketeering.

King is one of eight people accused in a federal indictment of being members of the United Freedom Front, which the government contends was dedicated to violently overthrowing the government.

King, who allegedly was involved in fewer crimes than the other defendants, was tried alone. The other defendants are being held or are serving sentences for other crimes.

When King entered the plea, prosecutors said they had no plans to call him as a government witness against the other defendants.

The May 1986 indictment against the eight listed 19 bombings of courthouses, banks, businesses and military installations allegedly carried out by members of the group. It also charged some of them with robbing banks in Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Virginia and with killing policemen in Maine and Massachusetts.

The crimes listed in the conspiracy count against King were participating in a Connecticut bank robbery and taking part in a shootout with police during his arrest in 1984. When arrested, King was wearing a bullet-proof vest and carrying a pistol, authorities said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Loucks said he expected the trial of the remaining seven defendants to begin by March 1.

Attorney Barry Wilson said King has been studying psychology in college extension classes and is approaching the number of credits he needs for a degree. Because of time already served, King should be eligible for release in about 3 1/2 years, Wilson said.

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