BOSTON (AP/WPRI) – A Massachusetts man convicted of leading an Islamic State group-inspired plot to behead a conservative blogger was sentenced to 28 years in prison Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors requested a life sentence for David Wright, 28, for his role in the plot to kill New York resident Pamela Geller, who upset Muslims when she organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas.
The plot was never carried out.
Geller and prosecutors asked the judge to sentence Wright to life in prison.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, she said it’s “impossible to overstate the devastation” Wright has brought to her life.
Jurors found Wright guilty in October of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism and other crimes.
Prosecutors say a harsh punishment will help to deter future crimes.
Wright’s attorneys are asking for 16 years. Wright argued at trial that he didn’t really support the Islamic State group and was living in a fantasy world. His lawyers say a life sentence is “draconian.”
- Defense: Man accused in terror plot was ‘idiot,’ not fighter »
- Prosecutors: Terror suspect sought to ‘neutralize’ those planning to testify »
Prosecutors attempted to portray Wright as the ringleader of the conspiracy, arguing he recruited his uncle, Ussamah Rahim, of Boston, and another man, Nicholas Rovinski, of Warwick, Rhode Island, to help him commit attacks.
In May of 2015, Wright met with Rahim and Rovinski for more than two hours on a secluded Warwick beach and discussed plans to kill Geller, according to the indictment.
- Read: Criminal complaint against Nicholas Rovinski »
- Classmate: There was ‘something off’ about Warwick terror suspect »
Rovinski pleaded guilty in Sept. 2016 to conspiracy charges and faces between 15 and 22 years in prison. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20.