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Fla. man who pleaded guilty to mailing 16 package bombs tells judge devices were 'not ever meant to work'

April 15, 2019 - 9:35 am
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(NEW YORK) -- Cesar Sayoc, the Florida man who pleaded guilty to mailing 16 package bombs to critics of President Trump, is due back in federal court in Manhattan Monday after he claimed certain things he said at his plea hearing were inaccurate.

In a handwritten letter to Judge Jed Rakoff, Sayoc said, “extreme emotional circumstances” influenced his answer when asked whether he knew his devices could harm.

During the March hearing Sayoc said he made devices “designed to look like pipe bombs” and “with the intent to injure” but his letter to the court said, "the intention was only to intimidate and scare."

He called what he sent to former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro and others "hoax, decoy devices" that were “not ever meant to work.”

From South Florida Sayoc sent letters to George Soros, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, Robert De Niro, James Clapper, Barack Obama, Rep. Maxine Waters, Eric Holder, Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, Thomas Steyer and CNN.

None of the recipients were hurt but the packages could get Sayoc a life sentence when he is sentenced in September.

“I was not in right state of mind,” Sayoc said in a second letter to the judge. “I was overwhelmed, high anxiety, very nervous condition” when he answered affirmatively about knowing the risks posed by his actions.

“The devices would never explode or worked,” Sayoc said. “The fireworks was a sparkler and not capable to explode.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how Judge Rakoff would handle Sayoc’s assertions but ordered the parties into court, writing that he found it “necessary to hold an in person hearing to address these issues.”

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