Guilty plea in ‘Family’ ecoterror case in Ore.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The woman at the center of a seven-year manhunt whose face graced wanted posters around the Pacific Northwest cast a smaller shadow Thursday on a slow walk to her defense table in a federal courtroom.

Now a decade removed from her membership in the ecoterrorism group ‘‘the Family,’’ 40-year-old Rebecca Rubin stood erect in a jail jumpsuit.

‘‘Guilty,’’ she said, in a voice so soft a judge had to ask her to speak up. It was the first of three admissions of guilt she made Thursday to arson and conspiracy charges, and with them, consented to give up at least five years of her freedom. She will be sentenced Jan. 27.


Rubin’s plea was the latest admission of wrongdoing by members of the Family in a series of arsons across three states from 1996 to 2001 that did $40 million in damage. Ten people pleaded guilty in 2007 to conspiracy and arson and were sentenced to prison. Two others indicted in the case remain at large.

In the final act for which she was charged, Rubin freed horses at a federal wild horse facility in California before other members of the group set a barn on fire.