Local News

Woman Alleges Camp Lejeune Marines Accused In Bomb Plot Were Joking

Posted February 10, 2003 2:50 a.m. EST

— Two U.S. Marines arrested after they were overheard talking about planting a bomb at a military base were only joking around, according to a third person charged in the alleged plot.

Police said Janna Rebecca Lynn Smith, 27, of Richlands, N.C, told investigators that she and the soldiers had made comments in private about wanting to blow up the Camp Lejeune base in North Carolina, and had even downloaded bomb-making instructions from the Internet.

But Smith said the trio didn't actually want to plant a bomb, and had simply made the cracks out of frustration with the military, according to a summary of her remarks printed in police reports.

"She related that they talked a lot ... about it, but they did not have any plans to actually do it," state police Trooper Robert A. Kennedy said in his report.

Smith and the two soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Richard D. Morrison Jr. of Tunkhannock, Pa., and Lance Cpl. Richard Thomas Medders, 22, of Trussville, Ala. -- were arrested Friday on charges including conspiracy to cause a risk of catastrophe and making bomb threats.

The investigation began after Morrison's sister went to police and complained that the group had been talking for several days about planting a bomb at Camp Lejeune to kill a supervisor they did not like, prosecutors said.

The woman provided state police with a computer disk and a printout containing files she said the men had downloaded from the Internet, including sections of "The Anarchist's Cookbook," a manual on how to make weapons with common household products.

Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick said no weapons or bombs were found during a search of the Tunkhannock home where the three were staying.

Each was being held Monday on $100,000 bail at a county jail. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 18.

Morrison and Medders are stationed at Camp Lejeune, but were on an unexcused leave from the base, Skumanick said.

Staff Sgt. Jay Connolly, a spokesman for the base, said the men had been absent since Jan. 24. He declined to comment on the case, other than to say that "the behavior that is alleged is certainly not in keeping with the values of the Marine Corps."

Tunkhannock is about 135 miles northwest of Philadelphia.