A man accused of planting a bomb along a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane, Washington, today pleaded guilty and admitted he created the weapon to hurt minorities.
Under a negotiated plea, Kevin Harpham will serve between 27 and 32 years in federal prison for his crimes.
Federal authorities say the bomb, hidden in a backpack, was full of lead fishing weights coated in a chemical. It had the potential to hurt or kill a large number of individuals.
The bomb, which Harpham said took him a month to build, was discovered by parade workers at the January 17 celebration and disarmed by a police explosives squad.
Investigators say Harpham, 37, who is white, was a frequent contributor to the Vanguard News Network, a Web site for white supremacists. “He told others he was a white supremacist and white separatist,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Harrington told the court today.
When arrested in March, Harpham had a digital camera that included photos of himself at the Martin Luther King Day parade, photos of African American children at the parade and a photo of a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke.
Asked by the judge if he intended to use the bomb to hurt others because of their race, color or national origin, Harpham replied, “Yes.”