Home San Diego Press Releases 2011 Jury Convicts Man in Federal Courthouse Bombing Case

Jury Convicts Man in Federal Courthouse Bombing Case

U.S. Attorney's Office June 06, 2011
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Donny Love, Sr., was found guilty by a federal jury earlier today in United States District Court in San Diego of the use of a weapon of mass destruction and other charges arising from the bombing of the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse in San Diego on May 4, 2008. The verdict follows a two-week trial before the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown.

According to evidence presented at trial, Donny Love, Sr., was the person who instructed Rachelle Lynette Carlock and Ella Louise Sanders to purchase explosive powder and to steal bomb-making materials. Love and others constructed pipe bombs at Love’s residence in Menifee, California, and then Love instructed and caused other persons to test pipe bombs by exploding and attempting to explode the devices.

According to testimony presented at trial, on the night of the courthouse bombing, Carlock and Eric Reginald Robinson drove from Love’s residence to San Diego with a backpack containing three pipe bombs, and Carlock then detonated the bombs at the front doors of the federal courthouse. The evidence further showed that Love was the mastermind and driving force behind the federal courthouse bombing.

At the time of the bombing, he was in dire financial straits and faced significant jail time arising from two pending state criminal cases. The evidence showed that he directed the May 4, 2008, bombing for the purpose of obtaining reward money and a break on his state charges by providing information about the bombing to law enforcement. The success of this fraudulent scheme required that he provide false and misleading information about the bombing and induce others to do the same in order to conceal his own involvement and collect a reward and other benefits from the government. Carlock, Sanders, and Robinson have each previously pled guilty in federal court in San Diego for their participation in the bombing plot (Criminal Case No. 08-CR-1895-MMM).

Robinson and Sanders pled guilty in 2008 to one count of possession and use of a destructive device to commit a crime of violence, to wit: conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c). In September 2009, Carlock pled guilty to the same charge. All are pending sentencing later this year before Judge McKeown. U.S. Attorney Duffy praised the coordinated effort of the numerous federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that participated in the Joint Terrorism Task Force’s investigation of this case. Sentencing for Love is scheduled for November 14, 2011 at 9:30 a.m., before Judge McKeown.


Donny Love, Sr. Age: 43 San Diego, CACriminal Case No. 10cr2418MMM

Summary of Charges

  • Count 1: Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332a—Conspiracy to Use a Weapon of Mass Destruction; Maximum penalty: Life in prison
  • Count 2: Title 18, United States Code, Section 2332a—Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction; Maximum penalty: Life in prison
  • Count 3: Title 18, United States Code, Section 371—Conspiracy to Maliciously Damage Buildings, to Possess Firearms, and to Make Firearms; Maximum penalty: five years in prison
  • Count 4: Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(f)(1)—Malicious Damage to Buildings and Real Property by Means of an Explosive; Maximum penalty: Not less than five years, and not more than 20 years, in prison
  • Count 5: Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)—Possession of a Destructive Device in Relation to a Crime of Violence; Maximum penalties: Not less than 30 years in prison
  • Counts 6-7: Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(h)(1)—Use of Explosive to Commit a Felony; Maximum penalty: Not less than 10 years in prison
  • Count 8: Title 26, United States Code, Sections 5841, 5861(d), and 5871—Possession of Unregistered Firearm; Maximum penalty: 10 years in prison

Investigating Agencies

Federal Bureau of InvestigationBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ExplosivesJoint Terrorism Task Force

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