Protesters convicted of breaking into nuclear facility

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An 83-year-old nun and two fellow protesters were convicted Wednesday of interfering with national security when they broke into a Tennessee nuclear weapons facility and defaced a uranium processing plant.

It took a jury about 2½ hours to find the protesters guilty of a charge of sabotaging the plant and second charge of damaging federal property in July the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge in July.

Defense attorneys said that federal prosecutors had overreached in the charges because of the embarrassment caused by the break-in.


“The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people,” defense lawyer Francis Lloyd said. “You’re looking at three scapegoats behind me.”

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Prosecutor Jeff Theodore dismissed claims that the protesters had helped security.

Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, and Greg Boertje-Obed said they have no remorse.

The defendants spent two hours inside Y-12.

Associated Press