NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) — The fate of a Florida man who pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to prominent critics of President Donald Trump will be decided a bit sooner than initially thought.
Cesar Sayoc will be sentenced in August rather than September, a judge said Monday.READ MORE: Coast Guard Offloads Over 7,500 Pounds Of Cocaine Worth $143.5 Million At Port Everglades
U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff set the Aug. 5 date to determine the penalty for Sayoc after his lawyer, Sarah Jane Baumgartel, said her client was anxious about the sentencing.
Sayoc, 57, could face life in prison for spreading terror in the days leading up to the midterm election last year. One charge carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.
His March guilty plea to explosives charges was a deal with prosecutors that eliminated a charge that would have carried a mandatory life prison sentence. Sentencing was originally set for Sept. 12.
He wrote letters to the judge after the plea insisting that he never meant to say he knew the 16 rudimentary pipe bombs could injure someone when he mailed them to addresses in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia.
“The intention was to only intimidate and scare,” he wrote in one letter, a sentiment he repeated Monday when questioned by Rakoff.READ MORE: Grandmother Fatally Shot By Publix Gunman Timothy Wall 'May Have Helped Prevent An Even Worse Tragedy'
He also admitted that he knew the devices he described as “sparkler fireworks” could injure someone if they caught fire or detonated.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Richman said prosecutors would present the judge with an FBI report longer than 100 pages to show the devices could have exploded if they were properly assembled.
Baumgartel responded by saying the defense would show they were not properly constructed.
Sayoc has been held without bail since his late-October arrest outside a South Florida auto parts store. He had been living in a van plastered with Trump stickers and images of Trump opponents with crosshairs over their faces.
Authorities say he targeted numerous Democrats, including former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former vice President Joe Biden, several members of Congress and actor Robert De Niro. He also sent explosives to CNN.
None exploded.MORE NEWS: What Will Post-Pandemic Life Look Like? Futurist Bruce Turkel Has Some Ideas
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)