Eric Rudolph Agrees To Plea Deal In Bombings
Posted April 8, 2005 6:02 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Serial bombing suspect Eric Rudolph agreed Friday to plead guilty to the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing and three other explosions.
Authorities say the 38-year-old western North Carolina native will receive four life sentences. He could have faced the death penalty.
The investigation started with the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing. One person was killed and 100 were injured. In early 1997, police responded to the scene of an explosion at an Atlanta clinic that performed abortions when a second bomb exploded.
Over the next year, Rudolph allegedly set off bombs at a gay nightclub in Atlanta and another abortion clinic in Birmingham.
Rudolph ran back to western North Carolina. Investigators suspect he may have gotten help hiding in the hills.
After five years of hiding, he was finally arrested in Murphy, N.C. in 2003, when a rookie police officer spotted him at random search for food in a dumpster.
Federal investigators recently returned to the area. According to reports on the plea deal, Rudolph confirmed the location of hundreds of pounds of more explosives he had hidden. Authorities detonated the dynamite they found.
Jeff Lyons, the husband of a nurse critically injured in the Birmingham blast, said he is extremely disappointed Rudolph will not get the death penalty.