NEW YORK (CBSMiami/CNN) — Lawyers for a South Florida man, Cesar Sayoc, who pleaded guilty to mailing crudely made pipe bombs to critics of President Trump and members of the media, say he should spend no more than 10 years and one month in prison.
In papers filed Monday, Cesar Sayoc’s defenders are asking for leniency when he is sentenced next month.
His lawyers cited an FBI report released last week saying the pipe bombs wouldn’t have worked. The lawyers say they were intended as hoaxes and that no one was hurt.
However, prosecutors countered in court papers filed Monday that Sayoc should receive life in prison to “adequately deter acts of domestic terrorism aimed at silencing and intimidating government officials.” They say he hasn’t “fully accepted responsibility.”
Sayoc’s targets included former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, and major Democratic donors like George Soros and Tom Steyer.
In March, Sayoc pleaded guilty to 65 felony counts including using a weapon of mass destruction.
Sayoc faces a mandatory 10-year prison term and up to life after pleading guilty to explosives-related charges.
His attorneys have requested he be sentenced to the minimum 121 months in prison, according to the filing.
The sentencing request for leniency says “a series of traumatic events pushed Cesar Sayoc further and further into the margins of society,” citing that he was abandoned by his father, sexually molested and suffered from an intellectual disability.
According to the filing, Sayoc was a fan of Donald Trump before he ran for office, listening to his self- help books on tape. His books on success and business were favorites of Sayoc, the filing said.
When Trump announced his run for office, Sayoc began following politics and watching Fox News while at the gym.
He began attending rallies and posting his political opinions on social media, where his attorneys say he found a “sense of community that he had been missing for so many years.”
Sayoc’s attorneys argue he grew paranoid, anxious and isolated, latching onto Trump in the months before he sent the bombs.
“He conflated his personal situation with the perceived struggles of Trump supporters across the country, and even the President himself,” the filing reads. “His paranoia bled into delusion and Mr. Sayoc came to believe that prominent Democrats were actively working to hurt him, other Trump supporters, and the country as a whole.”
The filing continues to say that Sayoc built devices “designed to look like pipe bombs,” as his mental state deteriorated and that he had “no true grasp of the severity of his crimes.”
His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.
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