FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A man who was accused of plotting to firebomb abortion clinics, churches, and gay bars was sentenced yesterday to five years in federal prison.
Stephen John Jordi, 36, pleaded guilty in February to a single charge of attempted arson of an abortion clinic.
Prosecutors had asked Judge James Cohn to sentence Jordi under a federal terrorism law and sought seven to 10 years. Cohn refused, saying federal sentencing rules require that plots have an international component to be considered terrorism.
"This crime was strictly domestic and in no way transcended national boundaries," Cohn said.
Jordi and a government informant bought gasoline cans, flares, starter fluid, and propane tanks the day he was arrested last November after casing several South Florida abortion clinics and talking about bombing one in Macon, Ga., according to the FBI.
Prosecutor John Schlesinger said he "respectfully disagreed" with the judge's decision not to sentence Jordi as a terrorist.