Albion Monitor /News
[Editor's note: For background on the Lampley case, see previous editions of the Albion Monitor.]

Appeal Expected in "Prophet's" Bomb Plot Conviction

by Bill Johnson

(AR) OKLAHOMA CITY -- A lawyer for the self-styled prophet convicted in a bombing conspiracy case said Thursday he anticipates an appeal will be filed once his client is sentenced.

"Sentencing has not been set yet," attorney Jay Williams said by telephone from his office in Muskogee. "The probation officer is preparing his pre-sentence report and I anticipate it should be finished about any time now."

Williams said it normally takes about 45 days from the jury's guilty verdict before the pre-sentencing report is ready. Once the defense attorneys receive a copy of the report, it will be studied "and we will file a reply. "The judge then will set a hearing on it," he said.

All three defendants contended they were entrapped bt the FBI

A Muskogee federal court jury of nine women and three men deliberated for five hours April 24 before convicting Willie Ray Lampley, 65, of conspiring to bomb civil rights organizations, gay bars and abortion clinics.

Also convicted with Lampley were his wife, Cecilia, 49, and a friend, John Dare Baird, 54.

Williams said Lampley was "awfully disappointed" in the jury's verdict against all three, but particularly as it pertained to his wife. Lampley had contended his wife had no knowledge that he was planning to make bombs at their rural home in southeastern Oklahoma.

Williams reiterated his contention that the three had been victims of a setup.

"It has been our contention all along that this whole affair was manufactured by the government," Williams said.

All three defendants contended they were entrapped and had been led into any plot that possibly existed by an FBI informant, Richard Schrum. Defense attorneys tried to paint Schrum as a "thrill seeker" who sought the limelight by going to the FBI and offering to infiltrate the so-called militia movement after the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Littlefield argued that the entrapment defense does not apply when a person is predisposed to commit a crime. He added: "Ray Lampley was given opportunity after opportunity to end it, but he persisted and went forward. He was not induced by Richard Schrum."

Williams and other defense attorneys portrayed Lampley as a peaceable man who sometimes talked too much, but who was not a bigot.

Littlefield had a different view, saying, "Ray Lampley is a man of hate and evil and venom."

Lampley testified he was "just having a friendly conversation" when he discussed blowing up the bridge

Lampley operated the Universal Church of God next to his trailer home and had proclaimed himself a prophet. Some of the government witnesses told of his outbursts against the government and some of its agencies and said he urged action against them.

Prosecutors alleged that Lampley's bombing targets included Anti-Defamation League offices in Dallas and Houston; the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama and the Department of Human Services, in addition to the gay bars and abortion clinics.

The three were arrested Nov. 11 and federal agents said they found bomb-making materials in a search of the Lampley home. Authorities said Lampley had planned to test out his homemade explosives the following day at Elohim City, a white supremacist enclave on the Arkansas border.

During two days of testimony before the jury, Lampley admitted he had gathered materials to make homemade C-4 explosives, but said the idea came from Schrum. He said it was Schrum, not he, who was head of a local militia organization and said Schrum threatened to disband the unit if Lampley didn't follow through with the plan.

Lampley also said he though the militia unit was operating in conjunction with a Special Forces outfit at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. And, he said, the explosives were to be used only if Russian troops invaded the United States.

The preacher also admitted that he discussed the bombing plans during a meeting with a South Dakota militia unit in August 1995. But, he said, "basically, I was just talking." The South Dakota militia unit notified authorities, who monitored the meeting.

Lampley testified he was "just having a friendly conversation" when he discussed blowing up the Interstate 35 bridge over the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Horn said Lampley called off the bombing plans after returning from South Dakota. Witnesses said, however, that Lampley later revived the plans to bomb the Anti-Defamation League offices in Texas and the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama.

Witnesses testified that Lampley believed both of those organizations were part of a New World Order design to destroy resistance in the United States to a single world currency and government.

Other witnesses testified that Lampley believed foreign troops were massing along the United States border in Mexico in preparation for an invasion.

Williams said that although Lampley was disappointed at the jury's verdict, "he is in good spirits and joked a bit with me" when he last visited Lampley in jail.

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor May 27, 1996 (

All Rights Reserved.

Contact for permission to reproduce.

Front Page