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Environmentalist is sentenced to 4 years for arson

August 02, 2007|From the Associated Press

EUGENE, ORE. — A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced the last of 10 radical environmentalists convicted of arson to more than four years in prison for his role in burning down a horse slaughterhouse in central Oregon.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken stuck to her initial sentence of 51 months for Jonathan Paul after a two-month delay to hear arguments for a lesser term.

Aiken dismissed the arguments from Paul's attorney, Marc Blackman.

Paul, 41, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and arson for a fire that destroyed the Cavel West horse slaughterhouse in Redmond in July 1997.

He was a member of a radical environmental cell of the Earth Liberation Front that was called "The Family." His sentencing caps an investigation into a string of arsons across five Western states from 1996 to 2001.

Paul made a statement in court, again renouncing his involvement with arson and warning others about the dangers of violent tactics -- especially after his experience with fires as a volunteer firefighter in Southern Oregon since 2001. He also vowed to continue working on environmental issues and animal rights.

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