5 US peace demonstrators get 2 to 15 months jail time

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

TACOMA, Washington -- Two priests, a nun and two women in their 60s who cut through fences at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor to protest submarine nuclear weapons were sentenced Monday to prison terms ranging from two to 15 months.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle sentenced Jesuit priest Stephen Kelly, 62, and retired teacher Susan Crane, 67, to 15 months in prison, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Emily Langlie said.

Jesuit priest Bill Bichsel, 82, was sentenced to three months in prison and six months of home monitoring. Sister Anne Montgomery, 84, got two months in prison and four months home monitoring, and social worker Lynne Greenwald, 61, got six months in prison and 60 hours of community service.

All five defendants also were given one year of supervised release. They were ordered into custody Monday, Langlie said.

The judge praised the five defendants for their humanitarian work but said he was bound by the law to send a message that legal means must be used to bring about change, the News Tribune reported.

Court documents say the group cut through fences on Nov. 2, 2009, to reach an area near where nuclear warheads are stored in bunkers. The protesters put up banners, sprinkled blood on the ground, scattered sunflower seeds and prayed until they were arrested.

Prosecutors said in sentencing documents that the five trespassed into a restricted area, destroyed the Navy's property and placed themselves and others in jeopardy.

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