Aug 5, 2019

Cesar Sayoc sentenced to 20 years for mailing explosives to Trump critics

Photo: Broward County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

Cesar Sayoc, 57, was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for sending explosives to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump, according to the Washington Post.

Catch up quick: Sayoc, who pled guilty to the crime, sent 16 pipe bombs to people that included Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros and others, just days before the 2018 midterm elections. He had been working as a pizza delivery man and strip club staffer a the time, telling U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff: "Now that I am a sober man, I know that I was a sick man."

  • Prosecutors had been calling for a life sentence for Sayoc, while the defense pushed for a 10-year sentence, citing steroids usage that may have caused him to become deranged in his support for President Trump.

What they're saying: Sayoc's lawyers wrote to the judge that Sayoc "truly believed wild conspiracy theories he read on the Internet, many of which vilified Democrats and spread rumors that Trump supporters were in danger because of them."

  • “He heard it from the president of the United States, a man with whom he felt he had a deep personal connection.”

Between the lines: The Trump administration has repeatedly denied any causal responsibility for Sayoc's attacks or that the president's rhetoric has incited violence against Democrats, the media or other groups that Trump often targets. Just this past weekend, a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas — in which the suspect allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed online — have called that denial into question once more.

Go deeper: Hate-fueled attacks continue to be accelerated by online platforms

Go deeper

Beto O'Rourke criticizes media for questions on Trump after El Paso shooting

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke criticized the media's treatment of President Trump after a CNN reporter asked if there's anything Trump can do to make things better following 2 mass shootings over the weekend.

"What do you think? You know the s--- he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f---? ... I mean, connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country."
Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019

El Paso suspect confessed to targeting Mexicans in mass shooting

A candlelight vigil at a makeshift memorial honoring victims of last week's mass shooting in El Paso, Tex. Photo: Mario Tama / Staff/Getty Images

The man accused of killing 22 people in last Saturday's deadly mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart confessed to law enforcement upon his surrender and admitted to targeting Mexicans in the attack, per AP.

The latest: The suspect reportedly told the police on Saturday, "I'm the shooter," according to Detective Adrian Garcia per an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the Washington Post.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 9, 2019

Trump on mass shootings: Hate has no place in our country

First Lady Melania Trump with President Donald Trump as he speaks about the weekend's mass shootings. Photo: Nicholas KammAFP/Getty Images

President Trump offered condolences after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend, telling reporters in Morristown, New Jersey: "Hate has no place in our country and we're gonna take care of it."

"This has been going for years. For years and years and we have to get it stopped. Perhaps more has to be done. This is also a mental illness problem. These are people who are very, very seriously mentally ill."
Go deeperArrowAug 5, 2019