A political candidate A blogger who held a grudge. A suspect of bombing. All the above describes Eric Krieg, of Munster.
A year after being arrested and charged with mailing a device that caused an explosion at an East Chicago postal facility, Krieg gave himself another label: guilty.
Krieg, 46, of Munster, pleaded guilty to knowingly fabricating an unregistered destructive device, sending a destructive device by mail, using malicious explosive material and sending a threatening communication, according to a press release from American lawyer Thomas Kirsch on May 10. Tuesday.
The parties agreed to a sentence of 29 years in prison and the plea hearing will be filed with the Chief Judge of the US District Court. UU Joseph Van Bokkelen at the Hammond Federal Court, according to the press release.
The explosion occurred on September 6, 2017 at a postal facility in East Chicago and Krieg was arrested in October 2017 and has been in custody ever since.
A blogger who held a grudge.
In his plea agreement, Krieg said he published a blog and engaged in "a series of publications and online communications related to other residents in northwest Indiana," where the grudges that fueled his decision to create and mail the explosives came.
Kreig, who had run for Lake County offices in the past, published political blogs with the nickname "Buzzcut."
Krieg said the first victim was a lawyer from Schererville who represented a client who filed a lawsuit against him. Krieg was sued in 2013 because of statements he made on his blog about Aaron McDermott, the brother of Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., who was arrested.
Krieg filed for bankruptcy in response to the lawsuit, however, Aaron McDermott's attorney, David Westland, said the lawsuit could not be canceled with bankruptcy and Krieg agreed to settle the lawsuit by paying McDermott $ 45,000 and publishing an apology in your blog
"In retaliation for the filing and resolution of this lawsuit and other grudges I maintained, I devised a plan to build and mail a bomb that I expected and believed would kill or injure Victim 1," Krieg's agreement said. "I built this pipe bomb and I knew it contained explosives and elements that would produce shrapnel. The pipe pump was built in the Northern District of Indiana. The pipe bomb was not registered in the National Register of Registration and Transfer of Firearms ".
However, the bomb exploded in an East Chicago post office and injured a pregnant woman.
"On September 6, 2017, I sent the pipe bomb by mail when it was delivered to the United States Post Office, 901 East Chicago Avenue, East Chicago, Indiana and making sure I had the right postage," the settlement said. Krieg. I sent the pipe bomb with the intention of killing or injuring Victim 1. I am aware that the pipe bomb exploded before being delivered to Victim 1 and, in turn, injured Victim 2, a postal employee . I damaged the post office where the bomb exploded. At the time of the explosion, the post office was used in interstate commerce or was used in an activity that affected interstate commerce. "
Another person, labeled "Victim 3" in the plea agreement, was attacked because Krieg said he was upset and held a grudge against the Northwest Indiana resident with whom he committed online.
According to the US Attorney's Office UU., Krieg was accused of sending the threat letter received on September 29, 2017 by a worker from the city of Hammond, which contained a bullet and a note that said: "The next one will be on the back of your head. . "
"On September 29, 2017, I sent by mail a threat to kill or injure the victim 3," said Krieg's guilty plea. "I put this threatening communication in the mail in the Northern District of Indiana and it was marked by mail, and I now know that it was delivered to Victim 3 in the Northern District of Indiana."
Criticisms against the management of drainage projects by the Lake County land surveyor and against the spending of the Hammond mayor's campaign have been some of the political fights in which Krieg has been the center of the years.
In 2012, Krieg confronted George Van Til for the position of Lake County land surveyor as a Republican candidate and also ran for County Council a couple of times.
Kreig is also a former engineer at the BP Whiting refinery and father of four children, according to The Times archives.
In December 2017, Krieg pleaded not guilty to manufacturing and mailing explosive devices and a threatening note.
In April 2018, he requested a delay for his federal trial, in which he was originally going to be tried by the end of May.
US District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen agreed to give Krieg and his defense attorney, Kevin Milner, several more months to prepare for a jury trial, which was scheduled to begin the week of November 5.
The assistant US attorney, Jennifer Chang, opposed the defense's request as an unreasonable delay, arguing that the wounded postal worker was pregnant at that time and has suffered emotional and physical distress.
Chang also argued that the person Krieg intended to be the target of the bomb also went through months of stress and that the victim's family had planned their schedules around the original configuration of the May trial and wanted the trial to proceed quickly. .
In October, the US attorney's office UU He announced that the jury trial had resumed in June 2019. Krieg requested in federal court that the trial be delayed again to give his lawyer time to prepare.
According to the US attorney's office UU., Krieg's plea hearing will be held "in the near future".
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