If the federal government still thinks Mark Krause planted a bomb made out of a Pepsi can outside of a voting center in Arkansas on the day of a Democratic primary last summer, they evidently don’t have the facts to prove it. But he’ll still be serving up to two years in prison.
The FBI charged back in January that Krause, a blacksmith whose home was foreclosed upon, placed a bomb outside a church being used as a polling location.
He was later indicted on new gun charges which alleged he possessed unregistered weapons including a short barrel rifle, three machine guns and three silencers.
Under a plea deal reached between Krause and federal prosecutors, the charge he tried to kill, injure or intimidate individuals voting or acting as election officials was dropped without prejudice, which means they technically could refile. But the gun charges stuck, and Krause was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine. Most of the supporting documents in the case were filed under seal.
Friends told TPM when the charges were filed that there’s no way Krause would have been involved in some sort of terrorist plot, describing him as a “complete liberal.”
At the time the government filed the new charges in February, a federal defender representing Krause wrote that the superseding indictment was a “delay tactic the government is using to buy more time to investigate because the government does not have a case against Mr. Krause.”
The federal defender, Bruce Eddy, declined to comment on Thursday. But a friend wrote on a Facebook page set up to support Krause that the judge didn’t seem to want to impose the sentence.
“Before the judge gave the sentence, he told a story to the court that translated as ‘I wish that I didn’t have to do this, but I have to.’ It was basically about how he didn’t necessarily agree with some laws, but they’re there until they get changed,” the supporter wrote. “He has to go by the guide lines and sentence accordingly.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Arkansas did not have any additional comment.
But a press release the prosecutor’s office sent out announcing the conviction was just three paragraphs long and didn’t include any quotes from U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.