A man who claimed to working on behalf of the radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front when he attempted to bomb a Pasadena condominium complex that was under construction pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit arson.
Federal authorities say sometime Los Angeles-area resident James Murphy, 44, was linked to the 2006 crime last year via DNA evidence and that he was nabbed in Texas. The U.S. Attorney's office states that Murphy tried to blow up a multi-million dollar historic condominium project known as the Vista Del Arroyo Bungalows under the Colorado Boulevard bridge in Pasadena but was foiled when an ignition timer on his incendiary device failed.
Federal officials, however, say Murphy left pro-ELF graffiti at the scene of the Sept. 19, 2006 crime. His admission of guilt was part of a plea agreement that will allow Murphy to avoid a grand jury indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Murphy's the second ELF soldier to be ensnared in a federal case in recent years, the office states. William Jensen Cottrell was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison for his part in the 2003 firebombing of a West Covina car dealership's building and more than 72 SUVs. An ELF-support site calls the likes Cottrell and others who have entered into plea agreements with federal authorities “eco-warriors turned snitches.“
Murphy will face sentencing in April.