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Last of 4 domestic terrorists sentenced to 55 years in jail

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The last of four domestic terrorists who robbed banks and planted bombs in the Spokane region in 1996 has been resentenced to 55 years in federal prison.

Charles Barbee, 68, along with his co-conspirators, were linked to the white supremacist Phineas Priesthood group and were convicted of multiple federal crimes which carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.

Among their bomb targets was The Spokesman-Review's Spokane Valley office and a Planned Parenthood clinic. No one was killed.

The Spokesman-Review reported that a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision found that some of the statutes the men were convicted under were unconstitutionally vague about the elements of crimes that require long prison sentencing.

Barbee was resentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming Nielsen.

Numerous people testified they felt Barbee was rehabilitated should be released from prison.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Harrington reminded the court of the terror Barbee and his co-conspirator's actions inspired in the Spokane community.

The judge said he was "frustrated" by the lack of flexibility he had in the sentencing due to mandatory sentence requirements.

Nielsen previously re-sentenced co-conspirators Robert S. Berry, 68, and Verne J. Merrell, 74, to long prison terms earlier this year. Brian J. Rattigan, 61, was released with credit for time served. All the men lived in the nearby Sandpoint, Idaho, area.

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