The last time Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed were in the federal courtroom in Knoxville, they assumed they would either be set free or sentenced to prison for breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
Old Man Winter had different ideas.
With a snowstorm bearing down on East Tennessee on January 28, the courtroom was closed before the three nuclear protesters could learn their fate.
They’ll be back in that same courtroom today. With temperatures predicted in the low 60’s, another snow delay isn’t likely.
Prosecutors are asking the court to sentence Rice, Walli and Boertje-Obed to six-to-nine years in prison for the July 2012 break-in. For Rice, who recently turned 84 years old, a long sentence could require her to spend the rest of her life in prison.
The three, calling themselves “Transform Now Plowshares” were convicted of sabotage last May for the break-in at Y-12. Sneaking into a high-security area under the cover of darkness, the protesters hung banners, painted slogans and splashed human blood on the wall of a nuclear materials containment building.
They were arrested just after dawn and have spent the time since in custody.
Before the courtroom closed on January 28, a federal judge ordered the three to pay restitution in the amount of $53,000.