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Bombers get federal prison time


Nearly two years after a Halloween pipe-bomb attack at a Lincolnton home, the two men facing federal charges in the incident have been sentenced to prison.

Following a long multi-agency investigation into the incident federal authorities procured indictments against Ricky Stamey and Christopher Martin in December 2010.

According to Lia Bantavani of the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina, both men have remained in custody since then.

Their sentences ensure they won’t be going anywhere else anytime soon, either.

Martin, who pleaded guilty in February to possession of a firearm by a felon, was sentenced last week by a federal judge in Statesville to 43 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release.

Stamey, who also pleaded guilty to the same charge in February, was also sentenced last week in Statesville to 57 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

The attack took place Oct. 31, 2009, in the driveway of the home of Roby Jetton on West Pine Street.

At the time Jetton had made headlines over a political dispute within the local Democratic Party, of which he is a former chairman.

There was some speculation at the time that the attack might have been motivated in part by a political foe, in part because the 2009 city elections were just days away.

After Martin and Stamey were arrested, however, this theory was downplayed, although Jetton told the Times-News that he didn’t think it could be ruled out.

Other speculation has suggested that the pair were targeting a young relative of Jetton’s.

The attack involved a pipe bomb built from materials the two purchased at a local hardware store. Police were able to identify them as suspects after viewing surveillance footage from the store.

A delay in the case apparently came from problems with the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab, which was also one reason that federal authorities ultimately took the lead in prosecuting the matter.

FRANK TAYLOR, Managing Editor

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