Two Convicted in Fatal Explosions, Face Life
HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) _ Two men convicted of detonating five pipe bombs are facing the possibility of life in prison without parole because one of the devices killed a woman in her back yard.
A U.S. District Court jury deliberated 20 hours over three days before convicting Robert A. Soy, 20, and Russell Prevatte, 23, of Hammond on 14 counts Wednesday.
They were found guilty of setting and detonating the five bombs, the first of which killed Emily Antkowicz, 65, of Hammond on Dec. 23, 1991.
The two men also were convicted of possession of unregistered and illegal firearms and conspiracy. Testimony indicated they blew up gas meters as diversions during burglaries. The bombings terrorized northwestern Indiana over two weeks.
Each defendant was found innocent on seven counts, including five charges of making the bombs. Jury foreman Alfred Sibert said the lengthy deliberations resulted from those charges since ″there were no witnesses to anyone making the bombs.″
Both Soy and Prevatte, who had smiled and joked throughout the trial, stared blankly at the floor as the verdicts were read.
U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano set sentencing for Sept. 4.
Prosecutors won the case with the help of testimony from three men who are expected to enter the federal witness protection program. One is Scott Prevatte, 29, Russell’s brother. Another is Jerry Williams, 23, a former Hammond police officer who testified that he supplied a book on destructive devices to Soy and Russell Prevatte and provided the scanner frequencies of area police departments.