April 8, 2005
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty in the deadly 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Olympics and three other blasts, The Associated Press learned Friday.
A person who was briefed by the Justice Department on the agreement said Rudolph would receive four life sentences under the deal. Rudolph had faced a possible death sentence. The source spoke on condition of anonymity.
A Justice Department official in Washington, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been formally announced, confirmed the plea agreement. An announcement was expected later Friday.
Neither U.S. Attorney Alice Martin or defense lawyer Bill Bowen immediately returned calls seeking comment.
In addition to the Olympic bombing, Rudolph also has been charged with setting off a blast in 1998 at an Alabama abortion clinic that killed an off-duty police officer and critically injured a nurse. Jury selection in that case began this week.
He is charged in two other 1997 bombings in Atlanta - one at a lesbian bar and one at a building that housed an abortion clinic.
One woman was killed and more than 100 people were injured in the Olympic bombing, which tore through Olympic Centennial Park during the Summer Games.
Word of the deal came amid reports that federal agents have been in western North Carolina this week detonating explosive materials in the region where Rudolph spent more than 5 1/2 years as a fugitive.
He was captured in 2003 near a grocery store trash bin in Murphy, N.C., in 2003.