SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A Northern California man who was convicted of masterminding a plot to blow up two federal facilities and had his 20-year sentence cut short because prosecutors failed to turn over all their evidence to defense lawyers says he was entrapped by a female FBI informant for whom he harbored romantic feelings.
Eric McDavid spent nine years in federal custody for what FBI agents alleged was as an eco-terrorist plot in the name of the Earth Liberation Front. In his first interview since his Jan. 8 release from prison, the 37-year-old Placer County resident told The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1EetBZk) that he is even more distrustful of the government now than he was before his 2006 arrest.
"Nobody could ever get me my nine years back," McDavid said in the interview. "What was taken in those nine years, you can't get that back."
The same judge who presided at his trial ordered McDavid released based on the government's failure to turn over the evidence, which included emails and a love letter from McDavid to the undercover informant, who has been identified in court papers only as Anna.
Defense attorneys say the communications would have bolstered their argument that McDavid was induced by sex and that the alleged conspiracy was hatched only at the prodding of the informant, who supplied money for bleach and other bomb-making supplies. Prosecutors have said the emails and letter were withheld inadvertently and would not have changed the outcome of his jury trial.
McDavid pleaded guilty to a lesser charge this month as part of a plea deal in which he was sentenced to time served and also agreed not to sue the government. McDavid, however, insists he and two co-defendants who testified against him never planned to destroy a hydroelectric dam and a U.S. Forest Service genetics lab, as federal officials claimed.
"No, we were not going to blow anything up," McDavid told The Bee. "The Nimbus Dam stuff, that was her idea. That was Anna's idea."
He recounted the day he and the two co-defendants were arrested in a Kmart parking lot. He said he was loading parcels in the trunk of a car when he heard the door locks click closed and wondered why Anna was talking on a cellphone inside.
"And right then, there must have been around nine vehicles pull up screeching, doors opening before vehicles even stop. I got a Suburban about 15 yards off to my right, Ninja turtles jumping out, AR15s, everything," he said. "And I just go, 'Oh, that's what that was.' "
McDavid said he is trying to figure out what his next steps will be. He is thinking about teaching yoga, a practice he learned in prison.
"I can bake," he said. "If you need bread for a thousand guys, or cakes or cookies or turnovers or doughnuts."
Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com