'Bishop' Gets 37 Years Behind Bars for Mailing Faulty Pipe Bombs
John Tompkins, the man who attempted to raise the value of his stock by mailing pipe bombs to investment firms, has been sentenced to 37 years in prison.
The father of three faced a judge for over an hour on Tuesday in anticipation of his sentence. Tompkins was found guilty of sending out dud pipe bombs to investment firms and advisers with letters that he signed as "The Bishop." The idea to use the name came from a novel in which the criminal leaves the chess piece behind at the scene, the Associated Press reported.
The pipe bombs failed to activate due to a single wire that remained unconnected. While no one was hurt, the judge ruled that Tompkins had still "engaged in a reign of terror."
"'Horrific' is the single best word I've heard to describe this crime," Judge Robert Dow said. "'Terrifying' is another good word."
Gary Shapiro accused Tompkins of being greedy and having little care over whether he killed another human being or not.
"Tomkins took these terrifying and secretive actions because he was greedy," said Gary Shapiro. "He was indifferent to whether he killed people in the process."
The letters Tompkins sent to his victims read: "BANG. YOU'RE DEAD." But his words never materialized. He was sentenced last year on over 12 counts, facing a maximum sentence of over 200 years. Prosecutors were hoping for at least 45 years, but the judge acknowledged that Tompkins had been responsible about taking blame for the crime. While the sentence could have been worse, Tompkin's lawyer still has plans for an appeal.
"He's a family man and a man who was respected in his community," Francis Lipuma told the Associated Press.
Tompkins also apologized for his offense.
"Let me start by saying how incredibly sorry I am," he told the judge. "There are no words to describe the shame and disappointment I feel in myself."