Caltech grad gets prison for SUV firebombings

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 8:19 AM

A California Institute of Technology graduate student has been resentenced to federal prison for conspiracy in the firebombing of dozens of SUVs in an environmental protest.

A Los Angeles judge on Monday gave William Cottrell eight years and three months in prison. Cottrell also was told to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

The 29-year-old Cottrell already was serving an eight-year prison term but had to be resentenced after an appeals court in September overturned his 2004 conviction on seven counts of arson. He was left with a conspiracy conviction.

Authorities say more than 130 SUVs were burned or vandalized in 2003. Two suspects remained at large.

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Cottrell's attorney Marvin Rudnick says his client helped plot the attacks but didn't take part. With credit for time served, Rudnick said his client could be out in of prison 18 months.