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Two Sentenced in Federal Courthouse Bombing Case

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 02, 2012
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Ella Louise Sanders and Eric Reginald Robinson were each sentenced today in federal court in San Diego before the Honorable Margaret M. McKeown based on their convictions on federal charges arising out of the May 4, 2008 bombing of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse. Judge McKeown sentenced Sanders to serve 10 years in federal custody and Robinson to serve 11 years in federal custody. The court also ordered that each term of imprisonment be followed by a term of supervised release of five years.

In the fall of 2008, Sanders and Robinson each pled guilty to the use of, and carrying, a destructive device, that is, pipe bombs, during and in relation to a crime of violence, that is, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A) and (B)(ii), and 2.

As part of their guilty pleas, they each admitted to conspiring with others to construct and detonate a series of pipe bombs, including the bomb used against the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse in San Diego, California on May 4, 2008. In their pleas, Sanders and Robinson each admitted that they assisted in the construction of pipe bombs. Sanders admitted that she purchased explosive material and stole pipes for the purpose of constructing pipe bombs. Robinson admitted that he drove Sanders to stores for the purpose of stealing pipes and end caps to be used in the manufacture of pipe bombs. Sanders and Robinson also each admitted that they assisted co-conspirator Rachelle Lynette Carlock in the May 4, 2008 bombing of the federal courthouse. Specifically, Sanders helped Carlock conceal her identity before she traveled to the federal courthouse, and Robinson drove the getaway car after Carlock detonated an improvised explosive device, which consisted of three pipe bombs containing two pounds of explosives and 100 nails. The resulting explosion caused substantial property damage to the courthouse and sent shrapnel flying for over a city block. Co-defendant Carlock was sentenced on October 31, 2011 to serve 10 years in federal prison for her role in the bombing.

On June 6, 2011, Donny Love, Sr., charged separately in Criminal Case 10cr2418-MMM, was found guilty by a federal jury of various charges, arising from the bombing of the courthouse. According to evidence presented at trial, Love was the mastermind of the scheme to bomb the federal courthouse, and used Carlock, Sanders, and Robinson to carry out that scheme. Love is scheduled to be sentenced on April 26, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge McKeown.

U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that participated in the Joint Terrorism Task Force’s investigation of this case.


Ella Louise Sanders, age 60
Eric Reginald Robinson, age 44

Criminal Case No. 08-CR-1895-MMM

Summary of charges

Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A) and (B)(ii) and 2—Use and Carrying of a Destructive Device During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and Aiding and Abetting

Investigating agencies

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Joint Terrorism Task Force

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