Would-be bomber pleads guilty

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Kirk Mitchell

A man who al­legedly car­ried a grudge for 45 years pleaded guilty Tues­day to a charge he at­tempted to ig­nite a weapon of mass de­struc­tion at a Ned­er­land po­lice sta­tion but says he was co­erced into do­ing so.

David Michael Ans­berry, 65, had pre­vi­ously pleaded not guilty to a charge of know­ingly us­ing or attempting to use a weapon of mass de­struc­tion. Through his at­tor­ney’s court fil­ings, Ans­berry in­di­cated his de­sire to change his plea in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Den­ver.

Ans­berry was fid­gety dur­ing the plea hear­ing and was in ap­par­ent dis­agree­ment with pros­e­cu­tors on key points. He nev­er­the­less ad­mit­ted that he planted an ex­plo­sive de­vice at the Ned­er­land po­lice sta­tion.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Chris­tine Ar­guello asked Ans­berry whether he pleaded guilty be­cause of a threat by pros­e­cu­tors to charge him with an ad­di­tional count. “Ba­si­cally yeah,” he said. He ex­plained that pros­e­cu­tors made it known that if he did not change his plea they would add a charge against him that car­ried a min­i­mum 30-year prison sen­tence. He added that his health is de­clin­ing rapidly and if he didn’t plead guilty, it would have a dire im­pact.

“If I ex­er­cised my right to a trial, it would mean I would have a long and painful in­car­cer­a­tion un­til I reach the age of 95 and my death would be in prison,” Ans­berry said.

Pros­e­cu­tor Gre­gory Hol­loway ac­knowl­edged that if the case would have gone to trial, he would have filed a new charge against Ans­berry that car­ried a min­i­mum 30-year prison term.

Ar­guello led Ans­berry through a painstak­ing se­ries of ques­tions to de­ter­mine whether he was chang­ing his plea of his own free will and vo­li­tion. Ans­berry said yes to ques­tions about whether he un­der­stood his guilty plea meant he could not ap­peal.

Hol­loway read the charge and asked him how he pleaded and Ans­berry replied, “Guilty.”

Ans­berry en­tered the guilty plea without the ben­e­fit of a plea agree­ment. His sen­tenc­ing hear­ing was set for Novem­ber.

Ac­cord­ing to court records, Ans­berry built a bomb ca­pa­ble of de­mol­ish­ing the Ned­er­land po­lice sta­tion in or­der to avenge the vig­i­lante mur­der of a fel­low mem­ber of a 1970s era hip­pie gang.

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