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Mail Bomb Victim Shows Maimed Hand to Jury

February 8, 1996

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) _ A woman whose husband is accused of mailing her a package bomb at work cried and looked away Wednesday as she pulled off a glove and showed her mutilated hand to a jury.

Tracy Bullis, who lost several fingers and suffered burns, also sobbed as she identified photos of her hand taken after the explosion. ``Tracy, I hate to do this,″ said John Bennett, assistant U.S. attorney.

Stephan Bullis, 31, is accused of making the pipe bomb and sending it to his wife at her office at Business Telecom Inc. in Raleigh, where it exploded July 10.

Mrs. Bullis said she saw metal and wires right before hearing the blast.

``I started screaming because I wanted to hear myself scream. I wanted to know I could still breathe,″ she testified.

As emergency personnel took her from the building, Mrs. Bullis said she saw her husband in the parking lot. ``I said, `Stephan, I lost my hand.″ He did not respond, she said.

If convicted, Bullis could get life in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

Before she opened the package, Mrs. Bullis said she and a co-worker joked that it looked like a bomb. The co-worker was also injured in the explosion, which blasted a crater in Mrs. Bullis’ desk, shattered glass and scattered blood and bomb fragments around the fifth floor of the long-distance telephone company.

Bullis also is accused of making and mailing a second bomb to BTI, which was discovered after he was arrested July 15. That bomb, which was not addressed to his wife, was found in a mail bin before it was delivered and was detonated.

At the time of the bombing, the Bullises had been married for five years. During cross examination, Mrs. Bullis said she had told investigators after the explosion that her marriage was a happy one. The prosecution contends that Bullis was having an affair, and had increased life-insurance benefits on his wife.

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