KNOXVILLE—Snow delayed the Tuesday afternoon sentencing for the three anti-nuclear weapons activists who cut through fences and vandalized a uranium storage building at the Y-12 National Security Complex in July 2012.
The hearing could be moved to 9 a.m. Feb. 18. But there is also a possibility that U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar, who normally hears cases in the Eastern District of Kentucky, could resume the hearing on Wednesday.
The sentencing hearing for the three protesters—Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli—was at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Courthouse in Knoxville, which closed early at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday because of the snow and driving conditions.
After hearing testimony from a Y-12 official, Thapar accepted a cost estimate of $52,953 for the damage done by the trio when they cut through three fences at Y-12 on July 28, 2012, and splashed human blood, spray-painted slogans, and hammered on the side of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where most of the nation’s bomb-grade uranium is stored. On Tuesday, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution, although Thapar agreed to waive interest.
An estimate provided at Tuesday’s hearing by retired Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson, senior vice president and deputy general manager of security operations and emergency services at Y-12, said the costs included about $26,000 in expenses for WSI Oak Ridge, with some of that for protective force officers and about half for K-9 support. Another $26,000 or so in expenses incurred by B&W Y-12, which operates Y-12, covered costs for workers who repaired fences and cleaned up blood and others who took pictures and videos of the damage.
Walli’s recommended sentence is about 7.7 to 9.6 years, Boertje-Obed’s is 6.5 to 8.1 years, and Rice’s is 5.8 to 7.3 years.
Note: See this newer story for more comprehensive coverage of the Tuesday sentencing hearing.