A federal court in Tennessee has directed three peace advocates to pay a combined sum of $52,953 for infiltrating a U.S. nuclear-arms site in 2012.
However, the judge in the case on Tuesday postponed final sentencing as the Knoxville courthouse was closed early due to a snow storm, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
The three-week pause came after the initial sentencing for 83-year-old Catholic nun Megan Rice, along with fellow Transform Now Plowshares participants Greg Boertje-Obed, 56, and Michael Walli, 64.
The nearly $53,000 penalty would cover cleaning and repairs for direct physical harm that the trespassers inflicted on Tennessee’s Y-12 National Security Complex in July 2012, when the trio cut through a series of the site’s security fences, pelted a bomb-grade uranium storage facility with human blood and spray-painted antiwar messages.
The cost of the U.S. security response to the break-in stood at roughly $15 million as of early last year, and was expected to potentially rise further, according to previous reporting.
All three Transform Now Plowshares activists still face possible prison sentences for their May convictions of interfering with national security and damaging government property. Rice could be imprisoned until she is more than 90 years old if Judge Amul Thapar follows federal sentencing guidelines, and her two accomplices could face even longer prison terms.
Inclement weather forced early closure of the federal district court hosting the sentencing hearing, and trial participants determined they could not wrap up the proceedings before the Tennessee courtroom shut its doors in early afternoon.
Thapar ordered the defendants to return to jail until their sentencing resumes, the Washington Post reported. The hearing is scheduled to continue on Feb. 18, according to the News Sentinel.
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