Man convicted in bomb charges sentenced to 9 years

By DENETTE WATSON
Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON — John Robert Kennedy, 43, was sentenced to nine years in prison May 3, nearly two years after he was accused of planting bombs in the city and calling in bomb threats to a school.

The sentencing followed a three-week jury trial that led to his conviction for possession of explosives and making bombs.

The prosecution sought 108 months of imprisonment, which is the top of the guideline range of 87 to 108 months, and were rewarded that judgment by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O’Meara. In addition to imprisonment Kennedy was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

Kennedy’s conviction stems from a six-count federal weapons charge indictment from July 2011. Kennedy was accused of planting a bomb device in the parking lot of ACO Hardware on Van Horn Road and at Trenton High School.

Before the trial began in November of 2012, Kennedy pled guilty to two of the six counts: Felon in Possession of Explosives and Felon in Possession of Ammunition. A jury later found him guilty on three additional felony explosives and weapons charges. The sixth count, Felon in Possession of Body Armor, previously was dismissed.

Kennedy’s sentencing was initially scheduled to take place in March but was delayed due to a motion filed by defense counsel Brandy Y. Robinson to request a new trial. The motion for a new trial claimed that the jury was not accurately informed of the legal definition and language of what constitutes a “destructive” device.

It is unknown at this time if the defense plans to appeal.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan E. Gillooly prosecuted the case with the assistance of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Detroit Field Division, and Trenton Police Department.

Robinson did not return phone calls by press time.

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