Walter Bond sentenced to 5 years for arson

14 Feb
See also:
Support Walter
Walter’s Final Statement to the Court
Defiance in the Face of Adversity

Denver Post article:

An animal-rights activist who burned down the Sheepskin Factory in Glendale unleashed a vitriolic and unapologetic speech in federal court today prior to being sentenced to five years in prison.

Walter Edmund Bond told Judge Christine Arguello that he has no remorse for the fire, which he has said he lit under the banner of the radical Animal Liberation Front, or ALF. The fire destroyed the store, which sells items such as sheepskin seat covers and blankets.

“In a society that honors money over life, I am honored to be a prisoner of war,” Bond said.

As Bond raged in the heavily guarded courtroom — at one point saying he wanted Livaditis to “choke on everything you earned” — a member of Livaditis’ family cried in the audience.

Bond, 34, admitted in November that he set the April 2010 fire and pleaded guilty to two felonies. He was arrested July 22.

Going along with the plea deal, Arguello sentenced Bond to five years in federal prison with three years of supervised release afterward. She also ordered Bond to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution and said he would face additional prison time if he didn’t keep up with restitution payments.

Bond told Arguello he would not willingly make the payments.

Bond is also facing federal charges in Utah for allegedly lighting two arson fires there as part of his animal-rights campaign.

In handing down the sentence, Arguello noted she had received 50 letters, many from people supporting Bond and arguing that the fire harmed no one.

Bond was convicted in Iowa in 1996 for lighting a pentagram on fire inside a church and convicted again in 1997 in Iowa for setting fire to a building [of a meth producer/dealer].

Bond’s speech today stood in contrast to statements his lawyer made on his behalf last month in a court filing seeking to get Bond a reduced sentence of less than four years. In that filing, attorney Edward Harris wrote that Bond had renounced “burning the businesses of those who offend his principles.”

“Mr. Bond … now believes that the better course of action is to limit his advocacy to speech and writing,” Harris wrote.

That sentiment was not evident during Bond’s speech, as he called affiliating with the ALF, “the proudest and most powerful thing I have ever done.” Bond, who has identified himself at times in online writings as “ALF Lone Wolf,” addressed part of his speech to “my vegan sisters and brothers” and encouraged them to keep up their campaign.

About a dozen of Bond’s supporters sat in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, and they were joined by numerous uniformed and plain-clothed security officers, as well as a bomb-sniffing dog.

After the hearing, many of the activists, some of whom traveled from across the country to attend, said they supported Bond’s statement. Elizabeth Tobier, who has said she has been corresponding with Bond and who flew from New York to attend, said the Sheepskin Factory sold the hides of “enslaved beings.”

“Personally, I think he was extremely effective,” she said of the arson.

Write Bond letters of prisoner support at:

Walter Bond  # P01051760
PO Box 16700
Golden, CO 80402-6700

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2 Responses to “Walter Bond sentenced to 5 years for arson”

  1. prole 15th Feb 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    eh

    • gendermutiny 22nd Feb 2011 at 11:48 pm #

      yea we know. people can make their own decisions about all that. the fact remains that walter has acted powerfully, bravely and defiantly, and in his own words: “I can realize that even though the system seeks my incarceration and a million cowards spread rumors about me online, that only I can make the decision to be reactive and fearful or revolutionary and unapologetic.”

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