Prosecutor: Alleged Bomb Plotters Expected ‘Foreign Invasion’
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Federal agents stepped in while Willie Ray Lampley was making a bomb that he and two followers planned to use against what they believed was an imminent foreign invasion, prosecutors said today.
But attorneys for Lampley and his two codefendants, accused of conspiring to blow up gay bars, civil rights centers and abortion clinics, told jurors the only crime was the one created by a government informant who led law-abiding citizens astray.
Both sides presented opening statements before the government called its first witness, an FBI agent who confiscated bomb-making materials from Lampley’s home in Vernon.
No bombs ever went off. Lampley allegedly was still obtaining and assembling ingredients when the three were arrested in November.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Horn said Lampley, his wife, Cecilia, and John Dare Baird believed a new world order was going to take over the United States.
Lampley, 65, who calls himself a prophet, believed ``it’s just a matter now of who’s going to fire the first strike,″ Horn said. He said Lampley, alleged to be the mastermind of the plot, told an informant ``we need to get our people to make that first strike.″
The government has said the defendants apparently thought bombing gay bars, civil rights centers and abortion clinics would somehow stave off the invasion.
Defense attorneys contend that informant, Richard Schrum, created a two-man militia with Lampley, drove Lampley to get bomb-making materials and pushed Lampley and his followers to build the bomb.
``This attempt to build a bomb was totally on the orders of Richard Schrum on orders from the FBI to put up or shut up,″ said Warren Gotcher, Lampley’s attorney.
The three were charged with conspiracy to manufacture and possess a bomb. Lampley and Baird also each face a firearms charge, and Lampley is charged with solicitation to commit a violent crime.
The jury was seated Monday after a day of questioning about their views on abortion, militias and weapons.
People excused from jury service included one man who said he knows a militia member and ``I think he’s a nut.″
U.S. District Judge Frank Seay scolded prosecutors after Baird’s lawyer, Jim Wilcoxen, complained that prosecutors waited until Monday to give him about two hours of excerpts from more than 30 hours of recorded conversation between Schrum and the defendants.
``It’s just an old trick that you do at the last minute. You shove a bunch of stuff at the other side to keep them from getting ready,″ the judge said.